PACS news/March 21, 2020
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well as we grapple with the spread of COVID-19 worldwide. This week a “shelter in place” mandate was put into effect in six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, followed by a statewide directive, to combat the worst pandemic most of us have faced in our lifetimes. Stanford PACS has been following guidance issued by public health experts, local authorities, and Stanford University and doing our part in trying to curb the spread of this deadly virus. I want to share with you some of the measures we are taking at Stanford PACS to respond to this crisis and its impact on our lives and communities.
All staff have been instructed to work remotely until April 7th, or longer if needed, and all events and conferences have been cancelled through May 15th. We are all adjusting and adapting to this new normal and are mindful that “social distancing” does not mean social isolation. We are taking all necessary steps to make sure that our staff, students and post-doctoral fellows feel supported and connected as they grapple with the personal and professional challenges this situation poses.
As a research center dedicated to producing and sharing knowledge to strengthen civil society, we are undertaking a series of activities that we hope will contribute to better awareness and action to combat this pandemic. The Polarization and Social Change Lab at Stanford PACS is launching an experiment to study ways in which we can increase uptake of CDC recommended behaviors. The lab is also planning a virtual convening of leading behavioral scientists on how social media platforms can be used to promote awareness about and action on the pandemic. The Civic Life of Cities Lab is trying to assess how the local Bay Area nonprofit community responds to and survives this crisis. Stanford Social Innovation Review recently published an article on how the social sector and SSIR are responding now and preparing for what comes next. It is also actively working to bring you articles, podcasts, webinars and other types of content that address these and other timely topics. We hope to share helpful insights from these initiatives as they become available.
We are grateful and humbled to be a part of a community that is making extraordinary efforts to support the nonprofit sector and its beneficiaries. Our advisory board members and foundation partners have all reached out to us and other grantees to offer support, guidance and courage during these difficult times. I am optimistic that together we will weather this crisis.
We wish you good health and safety.