As we all adapt to the impact of Covid-19, we want to commend organizations that are using remote collaboration systems and platforms, trusting that people can work together and get the job done while supporting public health recommendations. Elevated Chicago´s work is very collaborative – we need each other to advance our cause. And yet, we recognize that one of the best ways we can “show up” for one another is less about sitting across desks and more about recognizing what we need in the moment and being there for each other.
Right now, our Steering Committee members and the communities where they work need to feel safe, connected and supported. So, have moved meetings from in-person to virtual, and using technology solutions to keep us on track. We are making all our community-based grants (about $250K per year) fully flexible so our partners can adapt quickly to the impact of covid-19 in their organizations. And we have created an ad hoc team with our SPARCC partners and sister cities to keep our members informed about developments in government policies, programs, and community-based solutions affecting equitable TOD and our main lenses: racial equity, health, climate resiliency and arts and culture. Adaptability is one of our core values, so these adjustments are not disruptions, but demonstrations of who we are and how we work.
In addition to being adaptable, being kind to ourselves is especially important for people who work in community and in the nonprofit sector. Many of us are people of color, LGBTQ+ people, women and/or immigrants. We were already subject to systemic inequities, trauma and violence prior to the Covid-19 crisis, and we are now under additional pressure, concerns and anxiety. Community and nonprofit leaders in these and other groups especially affected by this crisis or at higher risk: please remember to take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually; and to role-model self-care for your loved ones, your colleagues and your community.
Finally, we also want to express how thankful we are to have Steering Committee members like the Chicago Department of Public Health, and Esperanza Health Centers working tirelessly to keep our community informed and healthy in these uncertain times. We are following their lead as they show us the path to a healthier, more resilient and more equitable Chicago.
Let’s each keep health front and center and be here for each other.
The Elevated Team