The attack on Ukraine has weighed heavy on my heart and mind this past week. As I parent, my heart breaks every time I see a video of NICU babies in basements with limited access to all the state-of-the-art medical equipment upstairs in the hospitals because of the risk of being attacked. I feel outraged that innocent people are left to try to escape or fight back. With every video from President Zelensky, I become even more inspired by the good and the courage I see in him.
All of this has me reflecting on our work at the SF Education Fund. While it can feel daunting to think about what I can do to make a direct impact on the situation in Ukraine (besides donating to incredible relief organizations including Save the Children’s Ukraine Relief Fund and the International Rescue Committee), I think about what I can do as a citizen in our community. What can I do to empower those who have been marginalized, those who the system was never designed to support, and those who if we do our job right and right now, could have access to a future where their dreams are possible? While there is no outright war happening in San Francisco, all of us are also fighting an important fight for the future of the youth in our city. At a time of war, it makes me appreciate even more that stability of access I have to food, shelter, water, heat, housing, and safety. I want this for all of our students in San Francisco, the ability to live in a state that is free of fear and struggle over basic rights and needs. These kids deserve all this and so much more.
The dignity of the Ukrainian people inspires me to continue to do the work we do, even during this time when there are bigger battles happening elsewhere in the world. As the war continues on, I challenge myself to consider how might I live up to the inspiring actions and voices of the Ukrainian people in how I show up for SF youth? I encourage you to do the same.
P.S. Beyond all the sorrow, there are glimmers of hope with the tectonic change we are undergoing as an international community. These two articles below inspired me so I wanted to share them with all of you.