Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Ijeoma Opara


The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 led to one of Europe's largest humanitarian crises since World War II. With over 14 million people forcibly displaced from Ukraine, this thesis delves into the lesser-known aspect of anti-Black discrimination impacting displaced Africans and those of African descent during the conflict. This thesis research has two primary objectives: (1) to explore the personal experiences and struggles of displaced African persons as they encountered barriers to safety while escaping the war-torn region, and (2) to examine NoirUnited International's efforts to create a framework that addresses humanitarian crises with a focus on racial justice and community-based aid. The thesis uses a decolonial ethnographic approach to gather insights from video interviews, personal narratives, and active participant observation in collaboration with the NGO NoirUnited International to contextualize the experiences of third-country nationals (TCN) fleeing the war. Interviews were conducted with three displaced Africans from Ukraine to highlight how racial discrimination impacted their journey and overall health. Racial discrimination has compounded the effects of war trauma throughout the conflict, creating a complex challenge requiring a comprehensive approach to address the systemic inequalities contributing to it. By shedding light on the unique, intersectional challenges faced by those displaced from Ukraine, this study's findings can be used to raise awareness and provide culturally sensitive recommendations for NGOs, mental health professionals, and advocates to mitigate the effects of discrimination and better support the psychological well-being of Africans and other “Third Country Nationals (TCNs).


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access