Dr. Erica Glenn, a visiting assistant professor of choral activities and voice, and Professor Maclaine Day, an assistant professor of intercultural peacebuilding, both share a deep connection and love for the people of Ukraine. As returned missionaries, Dr. Glenn of the Donetsk Ukraine Mission and Professor Day of the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission (now Dnepr Ukraine Mission) both had fallen in love with the country of Ukraine and its people. They felt a responsibility to act when hearing of recent tragic events in Eastern Europe.
In response to these unfortunate circumstances, Dr. Glenn stated, "Music has the power to mobilize to comfort and to unify. Ukraine, the musicians of Hawaii, stand with you" in her opening remarks. The audience then heard from Professor Day, who conveyed a powerful message about peace. Sharing that "peace starts with me" is a commonly used phrase in the Center of Intercultural Peacebuilding. She spoke of three ways to promote peace in today's world of hurt and confusion.
- Change your story. Be mindful of the words you use in expressing thoughts and feelings. Strive to speak of peace in your language, as this will allow an opportunity for reconciliation to follow the violence.
- Change how you pray. Ask yourself, what does praying for Ukraine mean? Pray for specific issues, love and understanding, pray for the conflict to end peacefully. Prayer will soften hearts and minds.
- Finally, act. Focus on what you can give, say, and do. It's a unique and divine role for each individual. Set a goal for yourself and act on it.
Dr. Glenn then ended their opening remarks by thanking all of the choir students, her colleague Melissa Glenn, and a few others for their immediate support in putting this together. The concert is still available for viewing on the BYU–Hawaii Choirs Facebook page.
In addition to hosting this online benefit concert, these same professors and students encouraged the BYU–Hawaii campus to wear yellow and blue that day in showing their love and support to those suffering in Ukraine. A show of christ-like love and service even when oceans away from the conflict.