News and Articles

A Letter from Kim Samuel

Loretta Claiborne, Chief Inspiration Officer and Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, Special Olympics International and Kim Samuel, Founder, Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness at our 2019 Global Symposium.
March 24, 2020

Kim Samuel, Founder of SCSC, has written the following letter to our global community as a call to stay connected amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as we work through the challenges of the next weeks and potentially months, and to encourage all of us to support and care for each other, now more than ever.

Dear Friends,

As we all struggle to adapt to living in a time of the COVID-19 pandemic — and the resulting impact it has had and will continue to have on our physical and emotional health and wellbeing, our workplaces and livelihood — We at the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness are here for you.

The significance of this moment in terms of social isolation cannot be overstated; as we transition to working remotely and enduring government-ordered lockdowns, we find our lives disrupted in a way that feels particularly alienating at this unfamiliar and uncertain time. At SCSC, we have long worked to emphasize the vital importance of human connection and at a time when “social distancing” has become the norm — it is more critical than ever that we find ways to maintain those connections, and remain resilient in our efforts to support and care for each other.

Although this is a time of hardship for us all, many of us are fortunate to have the capacity to transition to remote work and subsist primarily within our homes during lockdowns. I want to acknowledge that even as we face these difficult circumstances together, some members of our community are more acutely impacted. Many people are bravely working on the frontlines of this crisis, ensuring that we have access to food, essential supplies, safe communities, and urgent medical care. Those living in precarious financial conditions might be faced with the difficult decision of staying home to protect the health and safety of their families, or continuing to work in order to earn the paycheck that will allow them to feed and house their loved ones.

Other communities are particularly impacted by this crisis; some individuals are at increased risk due to homelessness or incarceration. Indigenous communities without robust healthcare infrastructure, and elders in nursing homes that are now closed to visits from family are also especially affected at this time. As we nurture the principles of social connectedness and belonging that have always been at the heart of our movement, we must actively work to reduce this inequality gap that magnifies hardships for vulnerable communities.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing articles, opinion pieces, and other resources to help us support one another, ensure a meaningful dialogue around social isolation and social connectedness, and shed light on the disproportionate impact of this crisis on marginalized populations. We know many of you are working directly with some of the most vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19 or struggling to adapt your activities to meet the daunting challenges confronted by our global community.

We feel so much gratitude for all that you are doing and affirm that we are here for you as individuals and organizations in partnership and reciprocity. If there is any way that we can help amplify your efforts through our website and other communications, please do let us know.

As a caring, compassionate community working together to build the global social connectedness movement, let’s stay more connected and be kinder than ever in these times when we cannot be physically together. We encourage you to write to us with your thoughts, stories, and ideas, and now more than ever, to keep in touch.

We are a movement where everyone belongs.

In solidarity,

Kim Samuel
Founder, Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness