|COVID-19 (which comes from the new coronavirus) is impacting the entire world, but it’s having an even greater impact on our most vulnerable communities. In times of crisis, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are always more vulnerable. The activists that UAF supports are already facing multiple threats to their safety and security, and we are aware that the additional threat of a global pandemic will force movement-builders to adjust the ways that they interact with each other and with their communities.
Despite the challenges posed by the spreading of COVID-19, UAF’s work continues. As funders, we have been reaching out to our advisors and grantees to check in on how they are coping with the current situation. We are committed to remaining flexible and nimble, and are prepared to make adjustments to our grantmaking requirements and processes as we learn about the impact that this outbreak is having on activists on the ground in all parts of the world. Even now with the growing threat of COVID-19, we at Urgent Action Fund want to encourage you to still apply for our grants. We are committed to being there for activists in their time of need and will continue to do so during this difficult time.
I am also writing to tell you about the steps that UAF is taking to protect our own staff and the people in the communities with which we work. Our Oakland and New York offices are closed, in response to recommended public health measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing. All UAF staff will work remotely until we have more information and guidance from public health authorities. All travel has been postponed or canceled, and whenever possible, meetings will be held virtually. Our means and methods have had to be adjusted, but we remain as dedicated to our work as ever.
In this rapidly changing and uncertain environment, I think it’s safe to say, that many of us are scared and confused. This global pandemic has brought in to stark relief the ways in which we are all interconnected and how our well-being is linked to the well-being of others. These difficult times call for solidarity, caring, and resilience. UAF was made for these times, and we will get through these difficult times – together.
Kate and all the UAF Team