Our Blog

A Message to our Community in the time of COVID-19

The impacts of global health developments related to COVID-19 on our community, staff, and collaborators, and the wider world around us weighs heavily on our minds. Before saying anything else, we want to extend our gratitude to the many front-line workers who are making tremendous sacrifices to support pandemic response efforts. Our thoughts are also with all who are experiencing illness and loss, near and far.

This crisis has brought unprecedented challenges to many of our doorsteps. Our entire community has had to change its ways of working, collaborating, and learning given the evolving circumstances. We—and many of our Partner organizations—find ourselves navigating uncharted territory, simultaneously facing the transition to remote operations alongside usual program delivery, while also considering what more we all might do to help the global community, our stakeholders, and staff. We at the Partnership are deeply committed to supporting our staff and members of our extended community in navigating this difficult and rapidly-evolving environment.

Like many organizations, in order to prioritize employee and community health, we closed the PAI offices temporarily as of March 10th and moved our entire staff to remote work, prior to the directive of a shelter in place mandate in San Francisco and across the state of California, home to PAI headquarters. We have also suspended employee travel in light of public health guidance. This shift in operations remains in place until further notice to prioritize the health of our team and the broader community. Our programmatic work continues at this time, with adjustments made to account for in-person event cancellation and the postponement or shift of continued work and activities to a remote platform.

As an organization that focuses so much on building bridges and spaces for collaboration between different sectors, institutions, disciplines, and individuals, this period has challenged us to think differently about human and organizational connection and partnership. We have been hard at work revising our program plans to account for new remote realities. Accordingly, we are adapting PAI planned events and workshops to take place remotely for the foreseeable future. We hope that changes we are making now will ultimately help us make the Partnership’s work stronger, more accessible, and more inclusive.

As a learning community, we are also committed to sharing what lessons we learn with our collaborators along the way; this means that you may notice more content on our channels focused not just on the substance of our work, but how we conduct it so that everyone around us can share in the ups and downs of online engagement, collaboration, and community organizing. We are grateful to the organizations and individuals from whom we have learned so much already, and who have shown us patience and compassion as we all navigate uncharted territory.

We thank you for your continued commitment to our shared mission, which is as important now as ever. And at this moment, most especially, we hope to continue to be a learning community and a gathering space for the sharing of ideas, and a catalyst for collective action on important challenges facing AI and society. More than ever, all of our efforts are needed to help build a better future for us all.

In partnership, and on behalf of all of our staff,

Terah Lyons
Founding Executive Director