Online forum to discuss the impact of the Ukraine invasion on Lawrence County

NEW WILMINGTON — On Saturday, three organizations teamed up to highlight how close the conflict in Ukraine is to Lawrence County.

Presented by Pleasant Hill Historians, the Lawrence County Historical Society and Westminster College, the live chat will also feature Ph.D. Mikolaj Borkowski. candidate at the Jagiellonian University which is currently located in Krakow, Poland.

At noon Ryan Armstrong, a student at Westminster College, will be one of the guest speakers at an online seminar on Ukrainian refugees.

One of the guest speakers at the forum will be Ryan Armstrong, a student at Westminster College who is researching immigrants who arrived in the county between 1906 and 1972.

“This partnership between the three organizations highlights how close this conflict is to Lawrence County and explores the challenges these displaced people currently face in Poland,” said Andrew Henley, president of the Lawrence County Historical Society.

Armstrong, a junior double major in history and biology from Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania, will share his research conducted with Pleasant Hill historians as he analyzes the Lawrence County Historical Society’s Melting Pot database.

This database lists the majority of immigrants who made Lawrence County their home between 1906 and 1972. Armstrong is currently analyzing the health impact of these immigrants based on their decisions to settle in New Castle or the surrounding communities.

Borkowski works with the Ocalenie Foundation, which helps refugees, immigrants and returnees build a new life in Poland. He will discuss the foundation’s efforts to help teach the Polish language to the more than one million refugees who have entered Poland since the start of the Ukrainian conflict.

Another speaker will be Mikolaj Borkowski, a Ph.D. candidate at Jagiellonian University who is currently in Krakow, Poland.  He works with the Ocalenie Foundation, which helps refugees, immigrants and returnees to build a new life in Poland.

Henley said the program is not only timely but personal for many people.

“Three members of the board of the Lawrence County Historical Society know someone in the conflict and I’m sure it’s multiplied many times over in Lawrence County,” Henley said.

The ongoing partnership between Pleasant Hill Historians, the Lawrence County Historical Society and Westminster College has produced several student research internships.

The research focused on New Castle’s Cascade Park trees, New Castle’s North Hill Historic District, Quaker Falls artifacts, and Lawrence County immigrant health.

The live chat is free and open to the public. To register for the event, go to https://bit.ly/UkraineRef. For more information, please contact Henley at [email protected]