BUILD has always put the safety of our youth and our communities first, and this drives all our decisions. In the case of the CPS strike, for example, we opened our doors and extended our hours to give *all* youth a safe place to go during that time. Today, we are facing another challenge to health and safety in the form of COVID-19, a virus currently spreading through the Chicago area. We have already taken extraordinary measures to protect the safety of our youth and staff on site, from extra cleaning and sanitizing procedures to sending people home at the slightest sign of symptoms.

However, we also understand from our Chicago and Illinois public health officials that as a community institution it’s our responsibility to think bigger, and help slow down *all* outbreaks across our state, especially as they put the most vulnerable members of our community in danger. And that means following their recommendations to avoid hosting large public gatherings whenever possible. Of course, BUILD’s calendar is full of events like these, and while it is disappointing to cancel or reschedule them, we know it’s what we need to do to reduce the risk of infection in our community.

Our event teams are currently meeting and we will make specific plans to reschedule or reimagine each event this March. We share your disappointment, but we also hope you agree that this is the right thing to do. We have not yet cancelled anything in April or May, but we will continue to monitor the situation and pay close attention to our public health officials. In the meantime, stay tuned – and thanks for the understanding!

In peace,

Adam Alonso

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