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Solidarity in COVID-19 Times

A woman pulls fresh carrots from the ground

Dear partners, friends, co-workers and collaborators,

Solidarity is a way of life for you and me. The rapid advance of the COVID-19 pandemic has undermined institutions, crippled systems, and upended our everyday lives. Solidarity now is more important than ever before. We are all spinning from the revelations of our individual and collective vulnerabilities. Our world has changed, fundamentally. Yet, one thing hasn’t changed. We have each other. Humanity is coming together in thought and action. Togetherness is a powerful force. We can confront this crisis together. We can weather this storm and emerge stronger than before. But, to gain strength, to respond with courage, we need each other. We need love, cooperation and creativity. We need action. We need new powerful visions for our collective future.

As institutions and systems crumble before our eyes we see an unprecedented opportunity to reflect, plan and act for the resilient world we need. But before all else we need to recommit ourselves to solidarity as a way of life. As Sara Ahmed writes: “Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves commitment and work, as well as the recognition that even though we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.”

The WVU Center for Resilient Communities stands firm, ready to engage our collaborators working across Appalachia to build just, equitable and resilient communities amidst the current crisis. At the dawn of each day we awake to powerful examples of community responses and innovative solutions.Therefore, we are recommitting ourselves in this moment to doing the best we can to serve visions for a better future. We invite you to join us: See below our lines of action and how you can get involved.

We are inspired by the acts of mutual aid we are witnessing at the grassroots. Our neighbors are forming groups to buy essentials and check in on our elders, our schools and charities are creating agile food distribution programs, our parents and teachers are joining together to form online teaching hubs, our musicians are lifting our spirits through song, our farmers are digging in to cooperatively deliver fresh produce, our faith communities are leading us in prayers for unity and hope, our advocates are demanding government support and people across the state are fundraising for service workers and frontline health care workers to get the protection they need to care for our well-being. This is what solidarity and resilience looks like.

With admiration for our friends on the frontlines,
Bradley Wilson, Director

How are you and your neighbors caring for one another? What stories can you tell?We are listening and exploring the place-based response of neighborhood organizations, faith communities, community organizers to COVID-19.
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Director of Community Storytelling - Raymond Thompson Jr -