Dear Friends,

As communities around the world face the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, I want you to know, on behalf of Coady Institute and St. Francis Xavier University Extension, that each and every one of you is in our thoughts during this time of great uncertainty. The ongoing spread of COVID-19 is affecting all of our communities, leading to changes in our daily lives that few of us could have imagined only a week or two ago.

From our side, Coady Institute is following the lead of the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia, as well as the NS Public Health and St. Francis Xavier University in fully adhering to the protocols and directives that have been put in place to serve the interest of public health.

To that end, the Institute has adjusted our means of operations by having all Coady and Extension staff members work from home. All in-person meetings and public events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. We are doing our best to maintain core operations while providing support to our families, friends, neighbours, and communities.

However, the prevailing global and local circumstances have obliged us to cancel all of Coady’s Canada-based courses through from May to mid-August this year. Our ambition at the moment is to resume on-campus courses by late August, if at all possible. In the meantime, we will be conferring with each and every partner organization to determine the best way forward for our on-going work, both in Canada and overseas.

We understand that this global emergency will disproportionally affect different communities and regions of the world and will likely rise and abate at different paces in different places. For this reason, we must be flexible in our program planning. However, we are committed to re-starting any deferred initiatives as soon as it is responsible to do so. In the best traditions of community-based development, we will innovate and improvise as circumstances require.

This is a difficult time for everyone. I want to thank the staff and supporters of Coady Institute for their unwavering commitment to our vision and our work. In particular, we acknowledge with gratitude the health care workers and those who work in essential services who have selflessly placed themselves on the frontlines of this terrible struggle.

I also want to encourage everyone to stay connected, even as we self-isolate. Now, more than ever, we need to think and act in solidarity with others, most notably the most vulnerable. In such times, we are indeed a global community. So, let us stay in touch, and inspire and motivate one another with stories of local leadership and community resilience to this unprecedented situation. Let us show the world how local communities can act collectively for the greater good. This is a time for creative leadership, innovative thinking, and acts of solidarity. Together, we can create a better future out of this crisis.

You are in our hearts always. Please keep us in yours.

Gord Cunningham
Executive Director Coady Institute
St. Francis Xavier Extension