COVID-19 and Our Communities - In this Together
There is no sugar coating it -- this is a scary and unprecedented time for all of us. In addition to the real health impacts of COVID-19, in the Bay Area and across California, we are feeling the effects of a shelter in place order that will drastically impact how we live for weeks, and potentially months, to come.
As always, we at Change Consulting are endlessly inspired by the changemakers in our midst who are responding to this moment, looking beyond themselves to love and protect our families and our communities. We are in this together, and we recognize that more than ever.
The pandemic has fully exposed what so many of us have known for a long time -- we need real structural change and transformation at every level to ensure the wellbeing and survival of our communities. Already, leaders in advocacy and in philanthropy are taking action to respond and to center those most impacted yet often most ignored -- including systems-involved young people, girls, trans and GNC folks, low-wage workers, folks without shelter or secure housing.
Our clients are working quickly to bring our incarcerated youth home, make sure the immigrants who provide the backbone of our basic services have enough to eat, and ensure that families have stable, safe housing in this moment of crisis. They are also preparing for the longer-term consequences this pandemic could have on our economy and democracy.
A lot of our work at Change Consulting has pivoted to support the rapid response and strategic communications needs of our clients. Over the past few days, we have been in conversations with frontline advocacy organizations and funder clients about the actions movement leaders are taking, how funders are responding, ways everyone can take action, and strategies for communicating in this moment. We have also been reading, tracking and paying attention to the resources that have emerged in response. We are sharing those insights here as a connection point. As an agency fully committed to social justice, we believe it’s going to take all of us to get through the current crisis and to use it as a lever to create the radically more just and equitable world we need.
As communicators, we thrive on making connections. We want to bring people together. These two things are disrupted right now. But we believe in our collective resiliency, and we will pull through by supporting and taking care of each other, even if that support and care is happening from a distance or digitally. We agree with John A. Powell when he says, “What is needed is social solidarity along with spatial separation.” The benefits of digital organizing for connection and action have never been more apparent and necessary, and we’re using this time to strengthen that capacity in our clients. We have the skills, tools, determination, and deep bench to get through this trying time stronger and more resolved in our collective vision for change.
We will update these resources on an ongoing basis over the next few weeks. If there are any additional resources you want to make sure we track, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In solidarity and with love,
Bilen, Dulce, Carrie, Dina, Layla, Anna.
Oakland Safety Net Support:
Bilen’s Facebook Fundraiser for Alameda County Community Foodbank
Safety Net Fund
Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund
Demands/Actions from Organizers:
- Juvenile Agency Chiefs Join Calls to Release Jailed Youth
- We demand the release of people held in detention centers to ensure safety during spread of COVID-19
- COVID-19 Response and Resources
Regional Risk Communication and Community Engagement Working Group Guide for including marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement
Funder Advice and Resources:
Nonprofit AF - Funders, this is the rainy day you have been saving up for
East Bay Community Foundation A Just East Bay Response Fund
San Francisco Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund
Latino Community Foundation Love Over Fear Fund
California Community Foundation COVID-19 LA County Response Fund
Sacramento Region Community Foundation Disaster Fund
Liberty Hill Foundation Rapid Response Fund for Community Organizing
Premium Access to Philanthropy Women’s Knowledgebase free for the next three months, which includes aggregated list of hundreds of funders for gender equality