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Talking About Anti-Racism: A Harvard Volunteer Learning Forum: Join us on Tuesday, July 21 from noon–1 p.m. ET to hear from fellow volunteers who will share what they’ve learning in launching programming on inclusion, racial equity, and social justice for their alumni communities. Share your ideas and concerns, discuss strategies for communicating productively about anti-racism, and exchange ideas on identifying participants, building best practices, creating community-led resources, and more. Register here.

Elections for Overseers and HAA Elected Directors: As you know, elections for Harvard Overseers and HAA Elected Directors is now open, and alumni may vote online or via paper ballot through 5 p.m. ET on August 18. Alumni can vote via mail or online; the online ballot is accessible via secure link in the email sent to all alumni on July 1 from “Harvard 2020 Elections” using the email address harvard@electionservices.com. (If you’re having trouble locating the July 1 message, don’t worry! There will be another email forthcoming this Friday, July 17.) This is an important opportunity for alumni to bring their voices to bear for the University, and a number of clubs and SIGs have asked how they might encourage their members to vote. Toward that end, here are some links about the nomination process, the candidates, and work of the Overseers you may find helpful.

Zoom is here! : We’ve been working to make Zoom widely available for clubs and SIGs to use at no cost in order to facilitate online programming and remote engagement opportunities. In order to provide the most expansive coverage possible, we’ll be making licenses available to the following groups for the coming year:

  • Clubs with more than 2,000 active alumni addresses in their geocode
  • SIGs with more than 1,000 members/opt-ins
  • Cultural identity and shared experience shared interest groups

In addition, each HAA director for clubs and SIGs will be granted a license for the duration of their term, which they will use in a variety of ways to strengthen and support the organizations with which they work, including lending out use of the license to cohorts that don’t meet the size requirement to be granted their own. This means that all clubs and SIGs will have some access to use Zoom for online convenings.

We’ll touch base with clubs and SIGs that qualify for their own licenses in the coming days to begin the process of identifying administrators and setting up access. Information on how smaller clubs and SIGs can work with their directors to schedule events will be forthcoming once the director licenses have been set up.

School planning updates: All of Harvard’s Schools have now announced plans for how they will resume teaching and learning in the fall. You can learn more on this list of School and program information.

Important development regarding international students: Yesterday, the United States government withdrew the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive that would have prevented international students from staying in the country if they attend institutions, like Harvard, that are holding their courses online this fall. Read President Bacow’s message to the Harvard community here.

Program planning updates: Last month, we communicated that the HAA would not sponsor in-person events or staff or faculty travel through the end of the calendar year. Last week, HAA Executive Director Philip Lovejoy wrote to share that those limitations will remain in place through the winter and into the spring, with the hope that we might be able to begin gathering in person in Cambridge once again this spring, resuming travel and events outside of Cambridge thereafter. I’ve included a rundown of what this means for annual HAA Clubs and SIGs programs below, and we’ll continue to be in close touch as CDC and Massachusetts guidelines evolve and we know more about what the future holds.

  • The Welcome to Your City and Global Networking Night event series will not take the form of in-person events. We continue to work through alternative possibilities whereby clubs and SIGs may convene these events remotely and look forward to sharing more information in the coming months. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you on how you’re hosting networking events and engaging recent grads online to inform these efforts. Please let me know what’s worked well for you!
  • The Alumni Leadership Conference and International Leadership Workshop will not take place as in-person convenings this coming year. While we lament losing the opportunity to gather with you in person, we are committed to bringing club and SIG leaders from around the world together virtually to share wisdom, gain insight, and connect to resources throughout the coming year. Information regarding remote sessions will be forthcoming over the next several months.
  • The HAA is working to make faculty and administrator speakers available to our alumni communities around the world remotely for the period we cannot convene in person. We are working to identify speakers willing to undertake remote engagements and figure out structure and processes for requests. We hope to have more complete information regarding the duration and structure of this opportunity, which will include joint speaker programs for regional groups, to share with you in August.

We’ll continue to provide updated details regarding this year’s programming as they are available. We remain immensely grateful for your ongoing partnership and flexibility.

COVID-19 response: As a reminder, you can stay up to date on Harvard’s response to the pandemic via the University’s COVID-19 website, which is updated with information as it becomes available. You can also read about the tremendous efforts of Harvard’s researchers, faculty, students, alumni, and staff via the Harvard Gazette.