Dear Public Allies Community,
The news from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the global public health threat of COVID-19, informally known as the coronavirus, is top of mind for us at Public Allies. There has been a lot of coverage about the virus, and we can imagine this may be unsettling for you, your loved ones, our Allies, and our communities.
This remains an evolving situation, with much of what we know about COVID-19 emerging daily. A cross-cutting response group — comprised of organizational leadership and members of our National Program Team — has been formed to stay abreast of developments and respond in as timely a manner as possible. Throughout, our number one priority at all times is to support the health and safety of our staff, our Allies and the community members they serve. We also remain committed to delivering our programs to the highest standard possible, while acknowledging the severe disruptions and challenges emerging from these unprecedented events.
Circumstances vary greatly across each of the 24 cities in our Public Allies network and we are working closely with the leadership and staff in each community to be responsive to their various needs. This includes supporting ongoing program delivery and the transition to virtual learning forums and teleservice arrangements, where necessary, in adherence with all CDC, CNCS and local guidance to slow community spread.
We are also taking our role as a learning and sharing community seriously during this time of crisis, finding ways to connect and hold space to gather in solidarity to support each other through this unsettling moment. Additionally, we have taken the following steps to protect our staff and Allies across the nation:
Travel and Events
We have suspended all non-essential business travel until further notice
We have cancelled, postponed, or converted to virtual all previously scheduled events through (at least) March 31, 2020
We have closed our National and Corporate Site physical offices and encouraged our Public Allies sites within our partners to do the same to the extent possible
We are supporting all sites in introducing and deploying video-conferencing capabilities for all training and learning days and community gatherings
We are working to support teleworking arrangements for all currently-serving Allies to every extent possible, in close coordination with leaders and Partners on the ground
Additional Supports and Opportunities for Connection
We are hosting optional virtual community gatherings to support each other, share resources, and remain connected as a community across geographies during these uncertain times
We are regularly reminding our staff, partners, and Allies about benefits and resources at their disposal to support them during this difficult time
We are sharing continual updates and communications with our network and are committed to keeping them informed of this rapidly evolving situation
Indeed, while there are many unpredictable aspects to this situation, our network and the larger Public Allies community can rely on our commitment to doing everything possible to keep our staff, Allies, and community members we serve safe and informed to the best of our ability. If you have any questions about Public Allies’ COVID-19 response, please feel free to contact us.