Solidarity and support for our grantee partners

Monday, March 16, 2020

Dear Unbound grantees, 
I hope this message finds you in good health and spirits. As communities across our cities and regions face and tackle the new reality and threat presented by the global COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) pandemic, we at Unbound are continuing to monitor developments, and taking the actions necessary to respond proactively to the rapidly evolving context.
We want to reaffirm our commitment to supporting you and your organization during this tumultuous period. The Unbound team is here to work together with you through this time. We understand that the current moment necessitates shifts in priorities and practices, so in that spirit, please do not hesitate to contact us if you see the need to make changes to your activities and deliverables, or if public health considerations impact plans for meetings, conferences, etc. We also recognize that grant reporting and proposal submissions may be delayed as organizations in many localities switch to remote work, and make other accommodations for their teams. Please know that the health and safety of you, your colleagues, your families and loved ones, and your community members comes first. 
We are inspired and galvanized by the growing number of you who see that the moment to become “a greater we” and “a larger us” is upon us and who are boldly and lovingly stepping into this space. As Jose Antonio Vargas wrote: "All we have is each other. Your safety is my safety. Protecting myself means protecting you, too. We are one race. Human race." And as Bridgit Antoinette Evans wrote: "We, all of us, must become the leaders for this moment...It doesn't matter what we assumed 2020 would look like, we now live in the midst of a global pandemic that will surely unleash the hounds of injustice, xenophobia, and isolationism in ways that take our breath away. And we have to pivot, quickly make sense of this fact, and then do as we do: move, organize, advocate, and tell the story of these times...In America, and all around the world, we are already becoming something different in this moment. Let's play our parts well and do ourselves proud. By caring. Sharing. And fighting for what is just and generous, always.”  
Each day, we are bearing witness to incredible acts of solidarity and demonstrations of interdependence. As Seattle Times columnist Naomi Ishisaka reported, “What this crisis has also exposed in the past week is the way in which people, guided by their hearts, are stepping up to support each other in extraordinary ways… on an individual level, people have offered free babysitting, cooking and food delivery for harried parents and medically vulnerable older adults…To support those who are most vulnerable in an emergency, a grassroots effort formed in Seattle called 'Covid19MutualAid,' centered on people with disabilities, people of color, undocumented people, older adults and others.” In Italy, where Italian citizens and residents have been adjusting to life under a nationwide quarantine and lockdown, communities have come together to sing and dance at their windows or on their balconies to boost morale.
If you have other thoughts or reflections on how Unbound can be helpful and supportive at this time, whether related to your programs or operations, please do not hesitate to reach out to your program contacts. Note that our staff is now working from home, and email is the best way to connect with us.
We strongly believe in your resilience and strength, and thank you deeply for your continued leadership in this time of uncertainty. We are with you, in solidarity and love.
Taryn, for the Unbound team