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  • Writer's pictureMelody Wu

Empathy Amid a Crisis

"Our Shared Truths" by Shayl Khatod

Interview with Teenside and Reflect Empathy


Our Shared Truths: What’s Really Happening to the People of Ukraine

I was sitting at my computer when I first learned of the Russian attacks in Ukraine. On February 25th, the day after Russia invaded, I read headlines about the invasion, about Putin’s plan to reunite the Soviet Union, and read statistics on initial casualties. I felt detached from this crisis, and guilty for my indifference. This guilt only proliferated as the weeks passed, as I continued to see quantitative data representing human lives.

Soral et al. discovered in 2022 that “empathy-inducing interventions” can lead to an increase in sensitivity in the context of anti refugee hate-speech. Many may see empathy as a parochial system, but it is the exact opposite. We can use empathy to hone in, to individualize, and give a human face to the marginalized people of the world; so we understand the reality of their lives; so we don’t treat them as these statistics found in the news, or stereotypes.

Listen to the voices of Ukrainian students and literary activists, Sophia, 17, and J, 21. Explore how their daily lives have been drastically altered by the Russian invasion and the psychological toll the invasion has taken. And juxtaposed, with their reality, listen to high school students in the United States as they discuss their knowledge of the crisis.

Empathy is paramount to creating a shared humanity and mitigating crisis. Please consider exercising empathy by making a donation that will help us to support Ukrainian students and refugees like Sophia and J. One third of donations will go to Polyphony Lit, to promote literacy worldwide; one third to Teenside, to provide publishing opportunities to Ukrainian writers; and one third to Reflect Empathy, to create scholarships for Ukrainian students.

Watch Reflect Empathy's Interview with Teenside here:


Donate to Polyphony Lit, Teenside, and Reflect Empathy here.

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