Johnson & Wales University Campuses Unite To Feed Ukraine

The lives of millions of Ukrainians had changed forever when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Johnson & Wales University Associate Professor of Business Marcia Vinci, was watching an early-morning news report on Ukraine, and caught an interview with a familiar face: Chef Jose Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen. Andrés has visited JWU’s Charlotte Campus and has relationships with several JWU culinary faculty members. “I thought of how we’re connected to Chef Andrés and asked myself, ‘Why aren’t we doing something?’” recalls Vinci.

She reached out to fellow JWU employees, and her request ultimately reached JWU Providence Campus President Maria Bernardo-Sousa, who, inspired by Voloshyn’s student activism, was already pulling together a meeting for JWU to join forces across both campuses. Vinci was quickly included in Sousa’s team. Everyone liked the idea of directing proceeds from both campuses to World Central Kitchen to help feed war refugees, in addition to any other ways that JWU could help, and it was settled that JWU would hold two Blue and Gold Days at the end of March for fundraising initiatives by students and volunteers.