Yesterday, my co-worker Camille returned from the grocery store, rattled by a scene unimaginable just days ago.
Our neighborhood market had been transformed: extra long lines, parents in tears over empty shelves, and a shopper carrying a shotgun ready to defend his right to limited supplies.
It was the latest reminder of the new world we’re living in because of the coronavirus.
An extraordinary unraveling is occurring, and no one will be untouched. The social and economic disruptions of this crisis will be deep, broad, and long-lasting. I want you to know that YES! is here for you as things unfold.
In the face of an overwhelming tidal wave of bad news, fearmongering, and finger-pointing, what we need most right now are daily reminders of our better human selves, so that each of us can rise to this challenge. There are thousands of inspiring, creative community responses to this pandemic, and these stories must be told and widely shared.
YES! is responding immediately to this critical need. Here’s what you can expect:
Daily news direct to you. Next week, we are expanding our newsletter to make sure you see at least one inspiring story every day. Called A Better World Today, it will focus on uplifting community responses and ideas in this critical moment. Watch your email for more information. If you don’t already get YES! emails, sign up now.
Shifting our coverage. We’ll be including all the beautiful ways communities are stepping up their compassion and people power in this challenging time. A few of the stories on deck:
• What kinds of social safety nets are helping communities prepare—and protect—themselves
• How “Nordic economics” offers us a model for handling uncertainty
• Books that help us find courage in times of anxiety
• How neighbors in Appalachia are building community by facing coronavirus together
Our summer magazine: Community Power. We’ve done a quick pivot and instead of the issue we had planned, we’ll be looking at community responses to coronavirus and other crises to draw the best lessons about how communities can take charge and build resilience, connection, and strength.
Learning from each other. When so many of us are facing fear and physical isolation, it is essential that we find ways to connect with others and share our collective knowledge of solutions. We must remind ourselves that we’re part of a greater community, and that our greater purpose is to emerge from this crisis with the tools to build a better world. Look for invitations from YES! to join in online conversations about solutions arising in your community and family, and to share ideas with other readers.
Free, unlimited access. All of our online content will be free to ensure these stories of hope and inspiration are available to everyone during this crisis.
Please, share the hope with your community
If you’re a regular YES! reader, you know how solutions stories help lift your spirits and keep you going when times are dark. In the coming weeks and months, I hope you’ll share YES! emails and stories with friends and loved ones. We all need as much hope and inspiration as we can get. And in a time of social distancing, it’s a safe and positive way to connect.
The bigger picture—a new and better world can emerge
I want to end this letter on a note of hope. In this crisis, I see new ways of being beginning to emerge.
The virus is exposing the unfairness and vulnerability of our basic systems—economic, health care, information, political—that we rely on to survive. YES! has long challenged systems built on inequity, racism, and environmental destruction. We’ve introduced you to thousands of people who are paving the way to better systems that put the well-being of all people and the planet first.
Now, in response to the pandemic, those experiments are speeding up. Even as we shelter at home, people everywhere are tapping into new—and old—ways to survive and thrive.
Telling the stories of solutions for a more just, sustainable, compassionate world has been our mission for nearly 25 years. No other media outlet does what we do. Truly, more than ever, the world needs YES!—and YES! needs you. Like many nonprofits, YES! will struggle financially in the wake of this crisis. If you can, please help us light the path to a better world. Take a moment to support our work right now.
Finally, I imagine you—like all of us—are anxious, and made more so by our necessary physical isolation. Please know you are part of a larger community of people who believe that another, better world is possible. If we all hold that vision together, we can get there, one day at a time.
Sending love and strength to you and your community,
YES! Executive Director
Christine Hanna is the executive director of YES! Media. She is a founder and former co-director of the Seattle Good Business Network.