I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe. I think it is safe to say that no one could have imagined how swiftly the world would change in a matter of weeks. This would have been the month that we would be standing proud at our annual Leadership Awards Gala, one of our marquee events that recognizes members and allies from the Pan-Asian community. Instead, we stand proud for a different reason.
It is in these challenging times that the spirit of Ascend shines through.
Together, we have asked our deep networks to help support frontline health professionals and first responders, which is so important at this difficult time. We have joined the movement to donate masks, and are exploring other opportunities to contribute. Our members are coordinating efforts to donate to organizations that help the vulnerable, such as the elderly, kids, and those that don’t have access to food.
Unfortunately, amidst all the great sense of community that is taking place, we are seeing some incidences of anti-Asian sentiment related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ascend has and continues to be a strong supporter of inclusive communities and micro-aggressions against any group is just not acceptable.
We continue to monitor and respect guidance of health officials. We know that physical distancing will be the new normal for a while. Therefore, we have had to pause some of our planned in-person events this year, such as the gala. We are fortunate that our volunteers are passionately rethinking ways to deliver programming through alternative channels, such as virtual Ascend Café sessions, online events and new podcasts. Follow us on LinkedIn, visit our website, and read our newsletter to stay up to date.
In this difficult time, it is important that we come together as an Ascend family and help each other. It will be the strength of our compassion, sense of empathy and power of community that will get us through this difficult time.
Be healthy and keep safe,
President, Ascend Canada