Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee

Unity & Collaboration


I was invited to speak at a one-day conference tomorrow (Ukrainian Unity Day) in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village.

The holiday of Ukrainian Unity is celebrated annually on the day of Reunification Act declaration of the Ukrainian National Republic and West Ukrainian National Republic, held in 1919. Officially, Ukraine Unity Day (Den’ Sobornosti) is celebrated since 1999.

I was contacted a few weeks ago by Daria Kaleniuk, a Fulbright scholar from Ukraine studying in Chicago. She and several other Ukrainian students had decided to organize Zlukacamp. This from their website:

ZlUKACAMP is a barcamp-conference, where Ukrainian students in the USA and Ukrainian Diaspora will unite efforts to search the ways for Ukraine to overcome the economic and political crisis. Conference will be held in the format of a barcamp, where every participant can become a speaker.

I’m excited to be a part of the event, looking at ways to bring the Ukrainian and Ukrainian American communities together. My own talk will focus on:

  • Preserving and sharing Ukrainian culture in Diaspora Literature
  • Magic realism as an exploration of the immigrant experience

With an impressive lineup of speakers, all the topics look fascinating and engaging. A sneak peek:

  • How diaspora managed to preserve the Ukrainian heritage in a society that called itself a “melting pot.”
  • Social Scientific Research on Ukraine: Why we should get involved
  • USA/USA program: raising new leadership in Ukraine and promoting Ukrainian language through “Word a Day” project
  • The strategy of return to Ukraine
  • Perspectives and Initiatives of Ukrainian Student Movement in State of Illinois as an origin and USA in general
  • Why and How Ukrainian students in the USA can be involved in projects of Diaspora
  • Crimean Tatar people. Who are they? History, deportation, struggle for life, and current situation. Story of one family.
  • The need and value of archaeological researches in Ukraine

There will also be group work and a dinner gathering. As you know, I really appreciative collaborative work, and I look forward to talking with the students who put this event together and will be in attendance.

I’m not sure where this will lead, but the possibilities are exciting!

If you’re interested in attending, it’s not too late! They will be registering participants at the Ukrainian-American Federal Credit Union Selfreliance (2332 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60622) at 9:30am on Saturday, January 22. The event with be Ukrainian/English (I’ll be speaking in English.)

I hope to see some familiar faces there!

Author: Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and STICKS & BONES, as well as the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Born and raised in Chicago, Valya received her degree in English at DePaul University and her MFA in Writing as part of the inaugural class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since receiving her MFA, Valya has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, internal communications specialist, co-producer of an independent feature film, and Goth cocktail waitress.

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