Our team is Russian American, and we view the Russian diaspora in the U.S. as one of the greatest stakeholders in the future of U.S.-Russia relations.
The community is vast in numbers and strong in their sense of identity, as well as being highly educated. Immigrants from the former Soviet Union can boast an average of 14.1 years of education, which supersedes most national averages. Many Russian emigres were pioneers of revolutionary inventions in America, among them is the television, helicopter, and videotape recorder just to name a few.
Today many ethnic Russians have successfully integrated into American society and are pursuing great careers. Tens of thousands contribute to the U.S. economy working as skilled professionals in many industries, among them are entrepreneurs, software engineers, scientists, professors and Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google.
Unfortunately, despite its size and affluence, the community has struggled with unity and assertion, failing to secure political representation and insert itself into crucial debate even on issues such as U.S. foreign policy towards Russia, which affects many of its members in ways that are both direct and consequential.
In dealing with this predicament, it is important to stimulate community involvement and harness the power of cultural diplomacy to generate a collective voice in addressing and influencing the outcome on issues of importance to Russian Americans.
Locally, our community engagement efforts have resulted in Seattle joining the ranks of cities with an annual Immortal Regiment World War II Memorial Walk
, an international commemorative event that pays tribute to the veterans of the Allied forces in the anti-Hitler coalition. This event also serves to remind citizens of the U.S.-Russia cooperation that saved the world from the Nazi plague.
Another local project of ours is the Seattle Russian Festival
- a major celebration of community, culture and cuisine that takes place right next to the city's most recognized downtown attraction - the Space Needle.
Nationally, we take part in the work of the Russian-American Community Council
, a coordinating body of elected community representatives that convenes regularly to address divisions and encourage consolidation efforts.