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Statement on the Crisis in Ukraine
The Department of Geography at the Pennsylvania State University condemns the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, which has caused and is causing the tragic loss of lives, collapse of infrastructure, and destruction of the environment. We express our solidarity with our Ukrainian colleagues, students, and their families, and friends. We recognize that many of our Russian community members are also impacted by the conflict in profound ways. We insist on recognizing sovereign nations, the preservation of democracy, and the respect of human rights that are currently being threatened.
For this reason, we support the American Association of Geographers’ (AAG) solidarity petition with Ukraine. We also share AAG President Emily Yeh's reminder that although the world's attention is understandably focused upon Ukraine, as geographers we must support all peoples who are struggling for sovereignty. President Yeh quoting Friday for Future's words aptly states our concerns: “While Ukrainians deserve immediate peace and all of our support, so do the people from Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and all war-torn regions. Empathy, justice, and compassion should be for everyone. Refugees should not have to be white to be heard and seen.”