Centering community care in response to COVID-19
[IMPORTANT UPDATE: We have launched the COVID-19 Community Care Fund to support organizing and advocacy during the pandemic. Learn more here: https://maineinitiatives.org/covid-19-community-care-fund/]
We are in uncharted territory.
The Maine Initiatives staff are monitoring the ever changing situation with COVID-19, paying special attention to the response and needs of the grassroots and community-based organizations in our community. We recognize that this situation will require all of us to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. In a moment when inequity and injustice are increasing and increasingly visible, we remain committed to supporting organizations that are advocating for justice and organizing around the tenets of community care and mutual aid.
Honestly, we don’t know what that looks like yet. But we know that it means listening to our grantees and making sure they are supported in their work and that their voices are heard and amplified.
Here’s an update on what we are doing right now:
- The Maine Initiatives staff team is currently – and for the foreseeable future – working remotely. You can reach all of us via email, but please note that we will only be able to check our office voicemail infrequently. If you need to call us, please reach out to Phil directly on his cell phone: 207-245-4232.
- We will be canceling or postponing all of the in-person events we have scheduled through the end of May. Stay tuned for specific details on plans moving forward in separate communications.
- In the next few days we’ll be reaching out directly to all of our grantees to learn how we can best support them, be it amplifying their communications, implementing strategies for community care, figuring out how to direct more funding to organizations responding to the crisis (both from MI and the wider philanthropic community), or all of the above.
- We will be communicating more with all of you! Right now we are using Facebook as a primary source to share updates from our grantees as well as from the larger public. We will be devising a more comprehensive communications plan in the days ahead.
For now, what we know is that community is more important than ever. It is in this spirit that we pledge to ourselves, to each other, and to you: to use this crisis as an opportunity to build our shared capacity to care for one another and to embody love for all members of our community.
Phil, Andrea, Shima, and Kristin