Caring for Each Other During COVID-19

March 16, 2020
 
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM THE SLS DIRECTOR

To our SLS Community,

These are challenging times and we hope you and your families and communities are healthy and safe as we adjust to this unprecedented situation. SLS staff are ready and eager to support you. We have set up some guidelines and some digital resources to facilitate care exchanges among our networks and I want to share those with you here.

Spring Semester Course Projects with Partners

Georgia Tech students are on Spring Break this week. Next week, in accordance with guidelines from the University System of Georgia, Georgia Tech will temporarily suspend instruction. While a decision has not yet been made regarding whether to move all courses online for the remainder of the semester, instructors are preparing for that possibility. Updates on Georgia Tech’s response may be viewed here.

Many of our Affiliated Faculty have planned and/or are already in the midst of community partner engagement as part of your Spring courses. SLS has posted a new page on our website called Faculty Guidance and Resources – Online Teaching, which answers a number of FAQs. In addition, please reach out to us if we can help you in any way. Our contact information is available on the web page.

Perhaps most important to keep in mind as you work on adjusting your courses: please feel comfortable letting go of plans that no longer seem feasible (disappointing though that may be). These are trying times and we cannot continue business as usual.

Partners are Struggling as COVID-19 Exacerbates Inequities

As challenging as all of this is for Georgia Tech and for finishing up our Spring Semester courses, many of our community partners are facing even more serious challenges as COVID-19 exacerbates existing inequities and creates new ones. If you are interested in learning more about these challenges and recommendations for addressing them, read this report from the NAACP: Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus Outbreak in the United States.

Connecting and Helping Out in a Time of Social Distancing

We can help each other! Please see this RCE Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Resources Google Doc that we have created to inform and help each other out. As sociologist Eric Klinenberg explained in an OpEd in The New York Times on Saturday, to get through challenges times like these, “We Need Social Solidarity, Not Just Social Distancing.” See all the great ways people are helping each other in Seattle. Let’s do the same in Atlanta! If you have time and energy to help out, we encourage you to do so! You’ll get some ideas of how to help from the Google Doc, or you can reach out to an organization you care about to find out if there are ways to help that organization in particular. If you discover additional resources or ideas, please add them to the Google Doc! The only way we’ll get through this is together.

Take good care of yourself and your loved ones – and we hope to see you in person soon.  We look forward to hearing from you if we can be of assistance.

Best regards,

Jenny