The draft of this post began before the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. It’s easy to say that things have changed in light of that horrific death, but they haven’t. Black people were being killed by police before COVID-19 and they are being killed by police now. If you can march, march. If you can give, give. There are many living documents to help direct you to the needs of protesters and activists in and around Pittsburgh right now.
We have continued to hold space for our community to share and share poems by remote means since the pandemic began. We will continue to hold online events. We are in contact with our venues to determine where and how we can safely hold in-person events. We are trying to establish how to best use technology to have hybrid remote/in-person event options moving forward. We’re going to mess up on the tech side at a minimum. We are working on processes to disinfect microphones between users, limit in-person attendees, and maintain social distancing to keep our community safe. If these are your areas of expertise, and you are able to put eyes on our plans and help us find our blind spots, thank you. Please contact us for details. The current timeline is to have one in-person/ online hybrid event per month starting in July. We will continue to post updates here as we have them.
None of this changes the overarching fact that no one is safe while Black people are not safe.