This post was originally written on March 15th, 2020 as our beloved North Carolina was only first learning of the impacts that COVID-19 was certainly going to have. Months later, we realize that this is not going to be just a moment in our time, but a long-lasting– and devastating– situation for our state, but in terms of health impact and economic impact. Therefore, Down Home has made the very difficult decision to suspend all our in-person meetings indefinitely and are moving all our teamwork online.
We have also decided that we can not put at risk the health and safety of our neighbors. Thus, all of our electoral work that we love so much– going door to door to meet folks in our community– has been moved online and onto phones for this entire election season. This is new to us, and new to you, and we will get through it.
We deeply care about each and every one of you and can’t wait to see you again.
Down Home North Carolina has made the decision to reschedule our events and public meetings through April 15th, or conduct them in virtual spaces, in light of the growing impact of COVID-19 in North Carolina. We have also asked our staff to work from home. It is imperative that we each do what we can to stem the community spread of the virus.
Creating space in small towns and rural places to come together to learn, share, and grow power in our communities is the heart of our work. This is why we knock on doors, why we hold town halls, why we share meals together.
However, protecting each other is also at the heart of what we do. We know that so many folks who make up our membership are also some of the most vulnerable in the face of this pandemic. In fact, making this decision reminded us why we do this work: Our communities have been made vulnerable because of an unbalanced and unfair system that puts profits over people.
If people across North Carolina had full access to the healthcare they need and had basic protections at their jobs such as sick leave, we would all be much safer and our communities would be more resistant to COVID-19.
This is why we need to build power for poor and working people in North Carolina.
Down Home is following the CDC and the WHO protocol for social distancing and virus prevention. This means that our in-person work will temporarily move to on-line and on-phone wherever it can. Down Home staff and members are exploring ways that we can creatively continue to move our campaigns forward in a digital capacity while also ensuring access to all who need it. We will be reaching out to you. We want you to reach out to us. Everyone must be a part of this work. We will leave no one out.
We hope you will join us in building multiracial power as a way to grow stronger and take care of each other.
Want to help support our members? Down Home has launched a Mutual Aid Fund during this crisis to help our members afford the supplies they need to prepare their households for COVID-19. Learn more and contribute here.