Dear AI4ALL community,
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption and unprecedented challenges, we want to acknowledge how difficult this time is for so many of us around the world. We’ve all been impacted in some way, and my heart goes out to each of you. It’s more important than ever to lean on our communities for support. Our networks, relationships, and connectedness are truly our greatest strength — now more than ever. I want to share with you all, our global AI4ALL community, how we are responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
What we are doing in relation to our programs:
- All in-person program-related events have been postponed through the end of April.
- At this time, our summer programs are going forward as currently scheduled, and applications for many of our programs are open now. However, we are working closely with our university partners to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on their campuses and to develop alternate plans as necessary. The health and safety of our community is our priority. We will update you on any changes to scheduled programs happening after April here and through our social platforms.
- Our Changemakers in AI alumni community will continue to participate in online meetings as planned. We are working on ways to provide additional support to our alumni who are not able to reliably access the internet or a computer from home.
- To support teachers and those working with high school students, the AI4ALL Open Learning Program has developed a new, free, online curriculum for high school teachers that explores the role AI can play in addressing the COVID-19 epidemic. If your classroom is currently remote, this lesson and the online discussion forums are a good place to encourage student interaction. We recognize that the current moment is challenging for all, and it may be upsetting for some students to focus on COVID-19 in the classroom. You know your students best, and we encourage you to use this curriculum only if you find it helpful and suited to your classroom. The curriculum can be accessed by anyone here.
What we are doing in relation to our staff:
- Our staff across our offices in Oakland and NYC are working from home for the foreseeable future and have been since March 9.
- All work-related travel has been canceled for the near future as we monitor the situation.
- We are offering additional paid time off to our staff to support them and their families through this challenging time. We understand that our team may have new and different responsibilities and needs during this time, and it is vital that we support them.
We are committed to being responsive to the needs of our community as the situation evolves. We will continue to provide updates about impacts to our programs here as more information emerges.
Though this feels like an isolating time, community collaboration, solidarity, and collective action will get us through it. We ask you to join us in following the guidelines of the CDC, the WHO, and/or your local public health authority for slowing the spread of COVID-19. This includes washing your hands thoroughly and avoiding over-purchasing supplies like masks to ensure that healthcare workers have access to them. We also encourage you to check in with neighbors, family members, and friends who may need extra support during this time. If we can be a resource to you in this time, do not hesitate to reach out.