Statement Against Authoritarianism

Dear Faculty, Staff, Students and Community Members,

Like many around the world, we are horrified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our College’s commitment to elevating humanity extends well beyond our campus and local communities. Moreover, many of our own faculty, staff and students are directly and indirectly impacted by this and other humanitarian crises. We thus stand in solidarity with Ukrainians, Afghans, Uyghurs and other people around the world who seek self-determination, autonomy and independence. As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized, the struggle is for “democracy, freedom” (March 1, 2022). The foundation of our work to dismantle hate, bias and discrimination lies in these principles. Without freedom, there is no democracy and vice versa.

As many political scientists have noted recently, authoritarianism is on the rise around the globe and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is one horrific manifestation of this trend. Freedom House, which tracks every country in the world, reports that global political freedom has declined every year since 2006 and “faces a dire threat” (“Freedom in the World 2002”). We unequivocally stand against authoritarianism and the oppression and killing of those who seek to live in a free, safe and democratic society.

For a list of highly rated, non-profit organizations engaged in relief, recovery and peace-building efforts, visit Charity Navigator: Ukrainian-Russian Crisis. The Northern Nevada International Center also released a statement regarding the crisis in Ukraine, which contains information on how to help refugees. There are additional innovative efforts underway to support Ukraine during this time of crisis. Please share any information with us and we will help to get the word out.

Peace and solidarity,

Daniel Enrique Pérez and Debra Moddelmog