Yesterday, on January 22nd, we celebrated the Ukrainian Day of Unity. 104 years ago, after centuries of political turmoil and division, the Ukrainian state, its eastern and western parts, were briefly united under the Declaration of Unity of 1919.

History lesson aside – what does it mean for us today? Here, in the U.S., with our hearts beating for our families both on the Ukrainian and American shores? What do we do for Ukrainian Unity right where we are?

There are plenty of stereotypes about Ukrainian East and West: more patriotic people there, and less – over there. More speakers of Ukrainian over there and fewer – here. But this is exactly the “here-there” divide that leaves us vulnerable to external manipulation. It seeks to use these stereotypes to weaken us when we need to be the most unified. Challenge them.

Discuss your roots and backgrounds in your Branch or your community. Learn one thing about one region of Ukraine you haven’t known before. There are so many exciting things hiding in its culture and history – what is yours?

Ukrainian unity starts in our minds. Would you agree?