As we all begin to deal with a global pandemic, we wanted to let you know how the Sierra Club is adapting and responding, so we can keep doing the important work of protecting our natural environment and fighting for a just, clean energy future.
First, we’re prioritizing the health of our volunteers, activists, staff, and entire community. The COVID-19 pandemic is a social and economic justice issue, as well as a health crisis. Protecting our community is our number one priority, and we recognize that we have a social responsibility to be good actors in keeping others safe, too.
Here are some specific steps we’re taking:
• We are requiring all non-essential staff and volunteers to work from home between now and April 12th;
• We are suspending all Sierra Club planned events of any size for the next month, including all volunteer and staff in-person meetings; and,
• We are also drawing down Outings across the organization, and more specific guidance and planning will be issued next week.
But that doesn’t mean we’re stopping our fight to protect the environment and public health. You can and should still email or call your members of Congress and other local leaders. In fact, please take this opportunity to email your senators right now about responding to the coronavirus threat. We’ll continue to keep you informed about how you can take meaningful actions while staying safe.
And while we may not be able to meet up in public, we are continuing to build a strong community of changemakers online. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for your daily dose of inspiration, reliable information, and activism. You can also join our Resist Facebook Group to connect with other activists creating a community of positive social interaction focused on protecting the environment. You can also subscribe to our Daily Ray of Hope for uplifting and inspirational pictures and quotes.
I also want to acknowledge that this crisis is impacting all of us in different ways. Many of us are processing feelings of fear, isolation, confusion, anger, and sadness around this pandemic, and how it is being handled by a reckless administration that puts vulnerable communities last. In the past few weeks, I’ve been angered by accounts of racism and harm experienced by those identifying as Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander. I encourage you to put yourself in other people’s shoes and engage with sensitivity and care.
While voluntary social distancing may be necessary to protect our health, it is increasingly important that we come together to work through this crisis. While some will try to use this time to demagogue and sow distrust and fear, we need to overcome that by creating real community, trust, and listening to experts and science. Doing this will only help us as we get through this crisis to deal with the other issues we face in 2020 and beyond.