COVID-19 Update – May 2020

May 5, 2020 • Stories About WRISE

WRISE Community,

I hope this message finds you as healthy as can be. As we navigate the changing times in new ways, I also hope that you feel surrounded by a community of support and care.

Since my last update when shutdowns were just taking effect in NYC and around the country, things have continued to evolve in so many ways and I find myself using refrains like “these strange and unusual times” often.  E’Lon and I have continued to navigate this “no-daycare-world” in creative ways and push forward with WRISE programming and initiatives, while trying to remain safe and sane.

I’m so thankful for our strong, supportive, and committed board, chapter leaders, committee leaders, staff, consultants, and volunteers across the network.

We are continuing to feel stable as an organization in our funding for the remainder of this year – allowing us to continue pursuing our mission and bringing you and our community the resources and support that we usually offer as well as some new programs and tools.  We are also using this time to figure out our best strategies for the future.  We had hoped to bring on an additional staff person in 2020 and for now we are taking a conservative approach and holding off on that new hire until we can gain some better insight into what we think the next few years might hold for all of us.

Importantly for our Chapter Leaders, we have decided to extend our guidance to continue only hosting virtual events through the month of June 2020.  While some states are beginning to open up we want to remain cautious in our programming and ensure we can find the best models and protocols to allow us to return to in-person events with the health and safety of our community and volunteers as the top priority.

In addition to the ongoing virtual events of our chapters we are continuing many of our national programs throughout the coming months:

  • Virtual Events/Networking Opportunities
    • An alternative virtual event for the WRISE Luncheon at Cleanpower is in the works
    • Community-wide virtual meet-ups (for small groups of 6-10) continuing in May and June
      • We hosted over 20 of these meet-ups in April and the feedback was enthusiastic so we are thrilled to be continuing them – you can sign up to join one using this link.
      • There continues to be a lot of interest and we have tools and resources to help make hosting one as easy as possible – it can be simply about meeting a few other people or revolve around a topic of your choosing – use this link to sign up to host.
  • Take Charge
    • June 8 – Amplifying Women’s Voices in Climate and Renewable Energy Virtual Workshop – in partnership with Vote Run Lead
  • Mentoring
    • Peer group mentoring program will be open for registration as usual later this summer
    • 1-on-1 mentoring program continues to be available through our online Member Center
  • Fellowships
    • We have been developing a modified virtual version of our Rudd Mayer and Wind at Our Backs Fellowship program and look forward to announcing our new class of fellows in the coming weeks.

I’m so thankful for the creativity and innovation I see around me and the pooling of support and resources in small ways and in more large and complex ways – all showing us the integral role that community plays in our world.  For many the burdens are significantly heavier and the uncertainty even greater than mine.   Across all of us we need to be able to rely on each other – holding our own independence and also our deep interdependence at one and the same time.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and please take care,
Kristen Graf,
WRISE Executive Director