Global Exchange will do our best to stay in touch with you and to help international connections thrive — even as global travel is shut down by coronavirus.

We are going to turn our Zoom webcast platform into a (virus free) “global living room” where we will be inviting you and hundreds of others to come talk, learn, debate ideas, and find ways to join our strengths together. We will roll out our first programs in the coming days — to compare notes on how people in different countries are joining together to fight the pandemic and take care of each other.

This moment calls on us to develop new habits to protect our health; community spirit to make sure help gets to all who need it the most; clear thinking about the wider ramifications of this pandemic; and resolute action to press governments to take care of everyone and to prevent unscrupulous leaders from exploiting fear to authoritarian ends. That is why we are inviting you to join our conversations from wherever you are.

The shock of COVID-19 is still sinking-in around the world. Some of us are already living in virtual lockdowns, and; no matter where you are, orders for social distancing — and the dramatic slowdown of economic activity that comes with it — have either arrived already or will soon be on the way. Maybe for a long time.

This moment will bring out the best in some people even as it shines unbearable light on the failures of U.S. society to ensure the basic human right of quality health for all, or even a modicum of economic justice for the poorest among us.

And as we have learned from the hard experiences of other recent systemic shocks — like that of September 11, 2001 or the derivative-driven financial crash of 2008 — moments like this make us especially vulnerable to lies and manipulation by corporate profiteers and anti-democratic war mongers.

Trump and his Administration first irresponsibly minimized the looming health crisis of COVID-19 but now the president has abruptly invoked emergency and “war” powers and embraced a trillion dollar economic stimulus (bailout) package for U.S. businesses as well as direct payments to millions of Americans. These and other drastic emergency steps are being rolled out, even as U.S. testing capacity for COVID-19 remains dangerously and unacceptably limited.

As our families, neighbors and communities face unprecedented challenges, so do our social movements. We need to speak out against corporate profiteers and authoritarians who will seek to use this crisis to profit and seize more power at the expense of the rest of us.

We plan to put our thirty plus years of creating people-to-people ties to keep global solidarity strong.

Stay tuned and we’ll be sure to notify you of webcasts coming your way in the next few days.

Let’s do our best to stay safe and be kind to one another.