The Russian invasion of Ukraine gave rise to a refugee crisis that is unprecedented in history. The scale and the speed of the migration made it one of the largest migration crises currently unfolding in the world and was declared a Level 3 (the highest) emergency by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The great majority of Ukrainian refugees (over 9,25 million as of 1/18/23) who crossed the Ukrainian border settled in Poland. Almost all of them were women and children. The talk will explore the findings of a study on the experiences of post-February 24th, 2022, Ukrainian refugees in Poland and the Polish and Ukrainian immigrant populations’ response to the refugee crisis. In particular, the talk will examine how the Ukrainian refugees adapt to life in Poland and how they cope with the trauma of war and resettlement. It will also investigate how the local volunteer networks were established in Poland and how they evolved in the days, weeks, and months following the beginning of the refugee crisis.
Dr. Monika Stodolska is a Brightbill/Sapora Professor in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois. She received her Ph.D. in 1999 from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada. Her research focuses on the roles of leisure, recreation, and sport in improving health and well-being among ethnic and racial groups and immigrants. Her studies explored the development of ethnic identities as well as cultural change and adaptation among immigrants. Dr. Stodolska’s research has been funded by the USDA Forest Service, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The National Research Foundation of Korea, and The National Recreation and Park Association. She has co-edited books on Race, Ethnicity and Leisure and two editions of Leisure Matters: The State and Future of Leisure Studies. Among other outlets, her research has also been published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Social Science Quarterly, Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, Journal of Leisure Research, and Leisure Sciences.