As of today, Pollen will be working remotely until further notice, as we do our part in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

What this means: business as usual, just remote:

  • Pollen public events scheduled for March and April will be postponed and rescheduled.


  • In-person meetings for our staff (external and internal) will be structured as phone/video calls.


  • Pollen staff will work remotely from their homes and will not travel regionally or nationally for work projects.

*We will continue to monitor the spread of the virus in our community, and will update our policy on March 31.



What this doesn’t mean:

Pollen is not closed! We’ll continue working on our projects, but instead of coming to the office, we’ll be working and taking our meetings remotely.



Why we came to this decision:

Leaders in Minnesota and beyond are all grappling with how to respond to COVID-19. Part of that struggle is dealing with a certain cognitive dissonance: we’re seeing so much “business as usual,” while at the same time hearing alarming messages from health experts. This is an unprecedented situation and we are doing our best to make decisions in the interest of our team and our communities with the information we have. Local leaders in business, in community, politics, and other institutions have the responsibility to make the best choices for their workers, partners, and community.

How we came to this decision


  • Community: Pollen has an unwavering belief in empathy, equity, and our shared humanity. Believing in our shared humanity means prioritizing the health and safety of our community, especially those most affected by COVID-19, over our individual instinct to wait and see how this all plays out. This decision is also deeply personal. Pollen has a staff member with a compromised immune system and chances are, someone in your office/network/family also has a heightened risk of being impacted by the virus too. Our decision to go remote is about protection.


  • Prevention Over Reaction: Instead of waiting for staff or community members to exhibit symptoms before implementing social distancing protocols, we are taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. With a constant flow of information and still very little being known about the incubation period and seasonality of COVID-19, we think it is in the best interest of our staff and our community to take these precautions.


  • Privilege: We fully acknowledge that being able to make a decision like this is a privilege. There are so many workers in our country that do not have the option to do their jobs remotely. We are exercising our privilege in a way we think will best serve the communities we are a part of and care deeply about.


This crisis is shining an unflattering light on the social and economic structures in our country — most workers do not have earned sick time they can take, meaning they’re forced to choose between a paycheck and public safety. Many lack healthcare coverage. Many lack child care to cover for impending school district closures. 


Pollen partners are working every day to change these and other structural inequities, and even though we’ll be away from 701 N. 3rd Street for a few weeks, we are no less committed to changing our collective story for the better. 


With love, 


All of us at Pollen. 



A few resources on COVID-19 from our Minnesota nonprofit partners: