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An Open Letter from WIA President Marge Dean

Women in Animation’s president addresses the crisis in Ukraine and the need to support its victims, and the animators who are using their art to create and share powerful anti-war messages.

Marge Dean, president of Women in Animation, has sent out an open letter to the community, addressing the tragedies unfolding in the Ukraine and highlighting the powerful anti-war messages being shared by animators in Russia. Also, she provides a list of several worthy Ukrainian charities that are seeking donations to provide humanitarian aid to those falling victim to the actions taking place.

The full text of Dean’s letter is as follows:


Dear Friends of WIA,

I am troubled as I’m sure you are by what’s happening in Ukraine. I’ve been at a loss of how to talk about it. There are so many smart and knowledgeable voices speaking out with outrage, information and compassion that adding my voice to the mix didn’t seem necessary.

But then WIA was sent some amazing animated shorts made by Russian animators in protest to the war. They are powerful and beautiful: quickly created, compiled, and sent out into the world. Many of the filmmakers are women, trans, non-binary and other underrepresented gender identities. In seeing these, I realized that there is communication that we can and should amplify through the WIA community. Our medium is animation, not written words.

Please help us spread the powerful art created by our industry colleagues in Russia. Post this link to your social media and/or any communication vehicle that you use to connect with others. The message is a simple one: “Stop War!” Share it at work with your teams, with your family, with your religious/spiritual fellowship, with your friends, and with any supportive and empathetic community in which you belong. Animation is an extremely powerful tool for change, but only if it’s seen. Please help us get these shorts seen by as many people as possible.

And if you would like to do even more, there are many Ukraine charities that you can donate to. Here are a few to consider: 

  • Vostok SOS: Ukrainian charity providing assistance internally displaced people
  • Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights: Helping support women, transgender, and nonbinary activists on the ground in and around Ukraine, by providing flexible funding, access to communication channels, and medical support
  • Project Hope: Supporting on the ground health care workers who are responding to needs in real time in Ukraine
  • Gender Z: Currently providing humanitarian aid for the queer community
  • Fight For Right NGO: Evacuating Ukrainians with disabilities

This war is aggressive and unconscionable. We are seeing people from all corners of the world stand up in protest. Let’s use our expertise, art, and collective soul to join the chorus.



Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.