On Thursday, 18 November 2010, at 5 pm, Michelle Goldhaber, a 2010 Residence Grant Fellow, presented her research on African students in Lviv. Michelle was joined by representatives from the African population, who shared their stories, backgrounds and experiences in their own words.
Michelle Goldhaber, MDiv, MSW, has been researching and working with ethnic minorities in Lviv since 2006 when she focused on Jewish-Ukrainian relations on a Fulbright grant. Michelle is also founder and director of the NGO "Seven Stones International", an organization dedicated to increasing intercultural understanding through creative programs and projects. Seven Stones has been active in Ukraine since 2007, running courses and trainings for people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Michelle began research on Africans in Lviv last March. She presented initial findings at the conference, "Lviv as a Mirror" at the Center for Urban History. Her current research is an extension of that initial work, and involves collecting stories and experiences of African students in Lviv. Although there have been Africans in Lviv for decades, and are currently over 150 students at the Medical Institute, National University and Lviv Polytechnic, their presence is little known by most Lviv residents. Michelle’s research aims at understanding their experience and making it accessible to Ukrainians and others. Topics for the evening’s discussion will include background about the students’ home cultures and environments, the best and worst parts of life in Lviv in their eyes, how and why they came to Lviv, and how they reflect and make meaning of their lives in Ukraine.