It would be futile to start this message any other way than to share that I, like many of you, are deeply concerned about the unprecedented crisis the country and world is facing due to COVID-19. By the time you read this, the number of positive cases and associated deaths will have risen to unimaginable sobering numbers.
We are eyewitness to the fragility in the country’s pandemic preparedness and strain on our hospital supply chains as we watch frontline healthcare workers challenged by a shortage of basic PPE and other equipment so desperately needed to care for patients. I am saddened by the daily intake of news yet remain positive about a leveling off or flattening of the curve in our near future. As a member of the science community I know we are collectively chasing this egregious virus and there are signs to be hopeful about. There is overwhelming evidence that this country has risen to the occasion many times before in the wake of tragedies.
As I contemplated what to write in this letter, I wanted to address some questions you may have about Diversity Alliance for Science and our activities. We are fully operational; our staff and Board of Directors are meeting regularly, we’ve established a COVID task force to analyze CDC guidelines and surging hotspots in the US including NY/NJ which would impact our June east coast conference. We will make a final decision within the next week and communicate our decision to the public. As with other organizations, our utmost priority is the health and safety of our members, conference attendees and guests.
We have added a COVID-19 information page to our website with valuable information updated weekly found here. The page provides information on Small Business Relief Programs, Cybersecurity Tips in the wake of COVID-19 and announcements of upcoming Webinars and other live stream events. We invite you to join one or multiple of these events developed for our diverse supplier and corporate audience.
The experiential development program announced in February with our partner Merck in conjunction with Drexel University for DA4S Members will be postponed and a new application deadline and start date will be announced in the month to come.
This too shall pass and no, I’m not unglued from reality. I’ve seen many unthinkable things and I’ve also seen the fortitude of everyday hero’s and ethical authentic leadership bringing us out of crises. That’s what you can expect with DA4S as a partner. The long term personal and professional effects of this Pandemic are still ahead of us and while the future may seem uncertain, DA4S will be there to support diverse suppliers and corporations seeking solutions. We’d like to hear from you and what’s happening with your business and in your community or perhaps there is a way you can be supportive of another DA4S member, please let us know by writing me. My final thought and well wishes are for your continued good health and that of your loved ones. Follow medical guidelines and do everything you can to remain virus free.
At the core of what our community does is the Science and know that the Science will win.
Kathy April Rush
Diversity Alliance for Science