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Responses to the pandemic

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by Amy Clark

Across the board, Ashoka Fellows are playing vital roles. Many responded quickly months ago and are working to make sure all people are as supported as possible right now, and that the new ways of organizing will sustain a changemaker world – more inclusive, more resilient, everyone steps up for the common good.

 

Browse a few of the many responses of U.S.-based Fellows whose work spans frontline health response, combatting isolation, protecting all our communities, securing livelihoods, supporting children and parents, and more. (And see hundreds more across Ashoka’s global network of 90+ countries here.)

 

Protecting caregivers, including via a $20M emergency fund (as of May 1) for domestic workers and caregivers left out of federal benefits (Fellow Ai-jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Association)

 

Producing and distributing over 10M healthy meals (as of May 1) to families in need since school closures began (Fellows Kirsten Tobey and Kristin Richmond, Revolution Foods)

 

Helping America’s workers improve their workplaces and protect themselves via worker-led online campaigns – especially important now when many workers, especially low-wage workers, feel unsafe at work (Fellow Michelle Miller, Coworker.org)

 

Helping sober active communities and people in recovery maintain sobriety through a robust set of online offerings, including fitness classes, virtual coffee talks, and more (Fellow Scott Strode, The Phoenix)

 

Retooling the federal foster care response with input from those closest to the problem: the young people in the foster system (Fellow Sixto Cancel, Think of Us)

 

Training frontline providers across the world in partnership with CDC and other governments (Fellow Sanjeev Arora, Project ECHO)

 

Port of entry health screening and referrals at international airports to protect less-resourced countries (Fellow Josh Nesbit, Medic Mobile)

 

Supporting people for whom home is not a safe place – those facing intimate partner abuse (Fellow Sonya Passi, FreeFrom)

 

Getting clean, running water to families – over 2M Americans can’t wash their hands because they don’t have running water at home, including in Navajo Nation that has some of the nation’s highest infection rates, parts of Appalachia, and more (Fellow George McGraw, DipDeep)

 

Supporting small businesses and rebuilding for greater equity, not greater wealth concentration, with employee ownership as a tool for economic recovery (Fellow Allison Lingane, Project Equity)

 

Rapid response fund for tribal nations and Indigenous-led organizations and why it’s time for a new normal (Fellow Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective)

 

Changing how the media covers Covid-19 responses to include solutions and what’s actually working so we can learn and feel agency to solve problems (Fellow David Bornstein, Solutions Journalism Network)

 

Emergency direct cash assistance for workers left out: care givers, immigrant workers, people in prison just getting out, students, and more. (Many Fellows)

 

Play-at-home recess 3x daily on Facebook Live to keep children engaged and physically active (Fellow Jill Vialet, Playworks)

 

Overcoming isolation during a pandemic: lessons from elder care in how we can all be better caregivers, even across distance (Fellow Anne Basting, TimeSlips)

 

Rapid response fund for changemakers ages 13-25 who are addressing the secondary effects of the crisis, like mental health (Fellow Eric Dawson, Peace First)

 

What young children are feeling and how we can reduce their fears and support them at this time (Fellow Mary Gordon, Roots of Empathy)

 

For real-time updates, follow us on Twitter @AshokaUS and Instagram @ashoka_usa.

 

Thanks to all partners who give unrestricted funding to Ashoka and Ashoka Fellows – at such moments, it’s the job of social entrepreneurs to adapt quickly and help societies stay protected as we transition to a new normal. Social entrepreneurs need freedom, trust, and resources to do that – at all times and especially now. Help spread the word about why flexible funding is critical.

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