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Ford Foundation and the Coronavirus

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is presenting the world with a dynamic and unprecedented situation, having immediate, far-reaching, and yet-to-be-seen impacts on communities across the globe, especially those most vulnerable.

Our thoughts are with the many people who have been affected. As a global foundation dedicated to protecting and advancing human welfare, we are working around the clock to address rising concerns about the virus and monitor and assess the rapidly changing environment in our headquarters in New York and around the world.

We are focused and committed to protecting the health and safety of our global staff, grantees, partners, tenants, and visitors to our buildings while we continue to support vital programs, organizations, and communities addressing inequality in all its forms.

  • Last week, we closed the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, galleries and atrium until further notice as a precautionary measure.
  • In consultation with the advice from New York City and State Departments of Health, we took additional measures to sanitize the entire center and its public spaces, required staff and tenants to work remotely, restricted business travel, and canceled or postponed large meetings and events. Our regional offices in countries most impacted are closed until further notice, and we're in close communication with additional offices as new developments arise.
  • We are following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and encouraging our teams around the world to prioritize their well-being by practicing social distancing, frequently washing their hands, monitoring their health, and staying home or seeking care if they feel ill.
  • We are working closely with our grantees to understand their needs during this challenging time and provide them with the required support and flexibility to navigate the evolving situation. Their work matters now more than ever, and it is critical we support their efforts to protect communities most at risk, advocate for policy change, and prepare for the widespread effects of this pandemic.

As the world is confronted with this immense challenge, we must learn from history and recognize how crises of this caliber can exacerbate and even worsen the inequality entrenched in social, economic, and political systems and shape our society for years to come. The time is now to forge ahead, with urgency and compassion, to protect the health and safety of one another—and our shared vision of a just and equal world.

Any further updates will be announced on our website and social media.

Wishing you good health and safety during this difficult time.

Darren