Hey there. We’re writing to you today on behalf of #TeamOneFuture. Before we start, most importantly, how are you doing?
We’ve been struggling with making sense of the world around us, there seems to be a hint of an apocalypse and a new beginning all at once. These are difficult times, especially for those of us who don’t have access to adequate resources or safe spaces to live in. It is also a high stress period for our mental health, for those of us who live in abusive spaces, and for the economy.
I hope you already know this, but it’s okay to be feeling the way that you are right now. None of us have perfect answers yet. However, we do know that we are going to get through this, together, possibly slightly bruised and dented, one baby step at a time.
If there’s something we’ve realised that we need to do — for ourselves and for our people, especially those of us who are in leadership positions, is letting go of the fear of controversy, ambiguity and vulnerability.
We are not going to be able to find simple solutions in complex times, we need to stop looking for them. Look for imperfect solutions, look for evolving answers – you don’t need finality right away. We need to embody a conscious leadership that is attuned to the feelings of the universe around us, and our own. We’re entering into uncertain times and it will require us to rise to the challenge of this uncertainty.
In the interim, here are some internal and external measures we will be taking to navigate this changing space better. We invite organisations and individuals to adapt from these for their communities and to also add better ideas and suggestions.
We released an immediate set of internal action steps earlier this month.
- Open, continuous and completely transparent communications with the team about measures available for them internally, what COVID-19 means for us and how we will continue to hold space collectively for the community.
- We will not always keep finding ways to be productive. We’re going to keep working but sometimes productivity isn’t going to be possible and we’re going to make peace with that.
- Extended paid sick leave, including mental health leave.
- Reduced work hours at the same pay.
- Community support for team members: mental health, financial loans, work based support.
- Release of salaries in advance to cover immediate necessities.
- Shifting our work online and work from home for the next few months, beyond the lockdown.
- Our meet-ups, community spaces and courses will move into a virtual format immediately for the next two months. You can sign up for them here: http://bit.ly/events_ofc – we urge you to sign up now if you’ve been thinking of attending a course or event by us. The pandemic affects our work and revenue streams quite a bit and this will help us remain sustainable.
- We shall hold regular facilitated virtual community spaces for healing and sharing. To start with, we will hold open community spaces every Wednesday from 8-9:30pm IST. These spaces will be a place to just hangout, draw, chill and process together. You can sign up here: https://bit.ly/virtualcommunityspaces
- We shall support those individuals and organisations that already hold expertise in fighting back against COVID-19, by sharing resources, supporting their fundraisers, and extending support in any other form required.
What we can offer to people and communities pro bono
- Preliminary legal and mental health aid to survivors of gender based violence: our FemJustice Legal Aid Helpline is still active and running on Thursdays and Fridays between 12pm to 4pm, you can call us at: +91 9019548792;
- Connections for mental health support;
- Holding space for people and communities;
- Strategic support to small businesses and not for profits that need to adapt their revenue streams quickly.
For (2), (3) and (4), please email us at email@example.com. If you make any optional payments towards these services, those will be donated ahead for relief efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
We invite anyone reading this to extend kindness and community to the people in your lives. Check in on your friends and family, be nicer, take time for yourself, breathe a little more?
Please keep feeling things, it keeps us human.
Love and solidarity,
P.S: We will update this as our action steps or the situation around us evolves.
We’re updating our website!
Queer Infocus | July 2020
The Beginning, Middle and End: A Tryst with Depression