The media has recently shone a massive — hopefully energy-efficient — spotlight on organizations’ involvement in the war between Ukraine and Russia. With many popular companies such as Spotify, Apple, and Starbucks refusing to sell their products and conduct business in Russia, there has been an increased incentive for organizations and countries alike to take a stance and “punish” the Russian government. And it’s working. Putin can no longer get his daily pink drink while listening to his mega-villain playlist using his Airpods. That’ll show ‘em Russians! Additionally, renowned musical organizations such as Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera have refused to showcase Russian performers. Most notably, opera houses have cut ties with singer Anna Netrebko, who is brutally suffering from either her Lincoln Square or Viennese high-rise apartments. Yup, that’ll show ‘em Russians!
Yet, many nations refuse to make bold moves against the Russian government other than the expected sanctions and propaganda war. Despite this, many students in Ridgewood High School believe that certain actions must be taken to help Ukrainian civilians during these difficult times.
Emily Sosa and Anna Beiersdorf are juniors at Ridgewood High School who are actively involved in RHS Project Interact’s Ukrainian disaster relief effort. Beiersdorf explains “Since the U.S is not in support of Russia, economic sanctions as we have imposed may be the best way to check Putin’s power without getting too involved, but it also is sure to increase tensions with Russia and certainly pulls us out of a true stance of “neutrality”. Either way, I think sending aid to the Ukrainian people, who are being directly harmed, in any way we can, is a good idea.”
Sosa furthers Beiersorf’s point in speaking to the importance of the media in this crisis, stating that “media support is always a good thing because it creates a platform for this issue. Not only does it help spread awareness, but also teaches and informs a lot of young people on understanding this crisis in Ukraine … The media is being used currently to collect donations for Ukrainians. I was able to help collect donations for Ukraine with the club Project Interact in order to provide aid to those who need it.”
Other RHS students committed to aiding this effort are Alex and Anastasia Shevchenko, two juniors at RHS. The Shevchenkos are Ridgewood siblings currently working with their family to contribute to disaster relief efforts in Ukraine. They have partnered with The Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Cherry Hills, New Jersey, and their Mother House (Convent) on Ukraine’s Polish border. Alex explains that, through this partnership, “RHS students and faculty can donate money and supplies, as well as spread awareness regarding the gravity of the issue at hand between Russia and Ukraine.” Anastasia encourages people in the RHS community to contact either of the siblings to make a donation via Venmo or to drop off medical or hygienic supplies. She stresses that “Ridgewood High School’s involvement would mean a lot to my immediate family and our family and friends in Ukraine.”
Graphic: Jiah Lee