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Now Is the Time!

We’re calling on you to grow this legacy of LOVE by sharing the values of GLIDE with your family, school, workplace & greater community.

Live These Values With Us

GLIDE’s Legacy is steeped in enduring universal values that its founders, Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani, have been putting into action for decades. Their work has transformed thousands of lives in San Francisco and around the world. Now it’s time for you to carry forward the legacy by joining us in showing how GLIDE’s values exist in your life.

Radically Inclusive

Radically Inclusive

We welcome everyone.
We value our differences.
We respect everyone.

Rooted in the teachings of liberation theology as well as an African American tradition of acceptance of and within difference, being radically inclusive means acknowledging the humanity in the other. It says: You belong here with us. We are going places together. Opening our doors, our arms, our hearts to another, however different they may appear, leads to the opening of doors to ourselves. There is power in difference, in multiplicity, and there is, at the same time, a power in understanding the commonality deep in the root of all difference.

Watch our founders speak about being radically inclusive.

Truth Telling

Truth Telling

We each tell our story.
We each speak our truth.
We listen.

It is only possible to be truly inclusive, truly loving and hopeful, if we have the courage and the honesty to tell our stories and receive the stories of others. Telling the truth of what we have experienced breaks the lie we were forced to swallow before, and calls the world to recognition and accountability: People told us we had not been raped, had not been underpaid, had not been profiled by the police or the banker or the salesperson, had not survived in spite of it all, had not flourished against the odds, had not found ways to be loving through all the pain. In truth telling, we feel our real feelings, and tell our story to the world.

Watch our founders speak about truth telling.

Loving and Hopeful

Loving and Hopeful

We are all in recovery.
We are a healing community.
We love unconditionally.

To accept the human being in the other is also to accept ourselves as human beings, beautiful and full of potential and at the same time always becoming, trying to overcome our own individual and collective limitations, weaknesses, and doubts. Being loving to one another is not the same as merely being “nice.” Being nice can mean evading the truth, denying the other and even a part of ourselves. Being loving is being accepting. Being hopeful is being in touch with the faith and resistance that is the cornerstone of our strength  as a community. Being hopeful says: I believe in you, and I believe in us.

Watch our founders speak about unconditional love and recovery.

For the People

For the People

We break through barriers.
We serve each other.
We change the world.

In other words, we “walk that walk.” This means doing more than talking the talk of social justice. It means putting ideas into action – compassionate action on behalf of real people. “You don’t just talk about hungry people… You feed them.” We understand that talking is much easier than walking, but walking is motion, movement, action, living, loving – it’s a commitment to life. Walking that walk is a commitment to social justice for all people, with a special focus on justice for people who have the least money, power, and safety. For as human beings, we each deserve nothing less than respect, love, and justice.

Watch our founders speak about being for the people.

Celebration

Celebration

We sing. We dance.
We laugh together.
We celebrate life.

This is how we live – by affirming the beauty and joy in ourselves as a diverse and loving community that can hold everybody and everything. Celebration is the antidote to the glum focus on what is wrong with us, and instead tells our story of strength, hope, resilience and power to change. A euphoric and ecstatic diversity of experience and expression that relates us to one another and brings us together as a people. A people of celebration.

Watch our founders speak about celebration.

Radically Inclusive

"Seeing people as they are, rather than as we would like them to be. This melded in my soul, and in my life, and my pathway and my journey has been to say: I’m going to be inclusive." - Cecil William

"...someone so different from me, who I don’t work with closely everyday, can see me and recognize something in my life that’s really important to me."

"Radical inclusivity means that everyone is welcome, without exception, and that’s really hard."

Real radical inclusivity is real love

All of us know what it means to be "othered" in some way. I think the harder part is what does it mean to belong, to be included. Radical Inclusivity to me, is being part of a community, your community!

Truth Telling

"You tell your story, you tell the truth of who you are, and it’s truly amazing what doors open." - Janice Mirikitani

"We call it our authentic voice, it’s deep, deep, deep down inside of here, every body has one, but we have to find it." -Stephanie

What your truth was 10 years ago, is not what it is today, and is not what it’s going to be 10 years from now. Continue to be true to what’s in your soul and heart, and continue on that journey.

Truth telling for me is, digging deep down into what your reality is, and having the courage to share that with other folks, not just for your own benefit but also to be useful to someone else.

Loving + Hopeful

"Unconditional love stretches us beyond our expectations." -Rev. Cecil Williams

"Recovery is a work in process. Recovery is not something you beat yourself up about. It’s something you get better at."

Real radical inclusivity is real love

"...There are so many paths in and so many entries and ways to make a difference, I think it’s really going to change the way the next generation views giving back and how they view volunteerism and community engagement." —Margaret

"What unconditional love means to me, is that you don’t ask, you just do." - Reggie Johnson, GLIDE Pride Team

"I come to GLIDE to remind myself that we’re in this together..."

"...loving me until I can love myself, filling me up with love until it started to pour back out, and now me just being able to love others." — Curtis

The love that we feel here at GLIDE is the love we aim to share with the world.

Unconditional love makes me feel human, it makes me feel good. That’s what I get from GLIDE.

GLIDE is the most welcoming place I’ve been in my whole life. I try to share those loving and hopeful qualities with my friends and family.

Every day I affirm that what is within me is within everyone. My capacity to love and to heal myself is powerful. Focusing on that love allows me to give to others without depletion or expectation.

For the People

"...GLIDE is so unapologetic about loving one another...it gives us a place to stand. So when we’re at City Hall, we don’t speak from a place of politics, we come from a place of love..."

"It is really through action that something happens. Really. You got to make a stand. You got to stand up. You got to say. ’I am, and that’s it,’" -Rev. Cecil Williams

"When I go out there and interact with folks in the community I’m coming from a real place." — Jason

"That sense of forward movement, of not stopping to figure it out all the time, but to just step in." -James Lin, Senior Director of Mission and Spirituality

Hago lo que digo y lo hago por mi familia.

I do my best to extend kindness and compassion without expectation. To be of service means nothing more than that -- to simply be of service.

Celebration

"It’s incumbent upon us to make sure that we give the tools of storytelling back to the people..."

"I was immediately drawn to the music, the sense of joyfulness here, and the sense that it really was about a celebration..."

"...we are all going to be different. It would be more spontaneous, that’s it. That’s what celebration is." -Rev, Cecil Williams

"Celebration is a time to be reconnected with the people that I love, that I trust, that have touched me in various ways." - George Bridges, Congregation

"Having a celebration allows people to heal, and not be judged, and just feel connected to a community."

What I love about GLIDE and what brought me here, is that I wanted to celebrate ALL that is San Francisco, not just my version of San Francsico.

At celebration, you can’t help but feel the energy and the vibes.

Every time I come here it always makes me take a moment to think how grateful I am.

Everyday I wake up, it’s a celebration. I celebrate by connection with ALL people and keeping my mind open.

For over 50 years, GLIDE has been breaking down barriers, raising the voices of those who have been silenced, and offering a place for all to come home. Our mission is to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.

GLIDE is a radically inclusive church, a social justice organization, a movement for change and San Francisco’s premier provider of innovative services for marginalized populations. Founded over 50 years ago by Reverend Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani, and today under the leadership of President and CEO Karen Hanrahan, GLIDE offers comprehensive support to San Francisco’s poor and homeless communities to help them overcome the barriers of poverty, violence, dependency and low self-worth. GLIDE has held steady the vision of supporting and uplifting the disenfranchised, and bringing about a better world for all, through the power of unconditional love.

The Legacy

Building on the charitable work of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church (est. 1929), and galvanized by the social justice vision of the Civil Rights Movement, GLIDE’s leadership and community members mobilized in the 1960s in response to the crises faced by residents of San Francisco’s Tenderloin and surrounding neighborhoods.

Since that time, GLIDE has served as a moral compass for the San Francisco Bay Area, the nation and the world. Often regarded as the Bay Area’s Church, GLIDE Memorial may well be the largest progressive and “radically inclusive” megachurch in the United States, uplifting 2,000 people each Sunday and welcoming hundreds of community members into congregational life groups.

Celebrate

Sunday Celebrations offer everyone a joyous, richly diverse experience of community, music and spiritual uplift.

Consistent with this deep commitment to social justice, GLIDE Foundation maintains a holistic array of programs and services to meet the diverse needs of the Tenderloin and broader San Francisco communities. Today, GLIDE serves as a diverse cross-section of homeless, low-income and marginalized populations with daily free meals (the largest program of its kind in the city), housing support services, domestic violence counseling and abatement, substance use recovery, licensed childcare, afterschool and summer programs for youth, a family resource center, a drop-in legal clinic (in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights) and on-site access to primary and mental health care (via Tenderloin Health Services, a program of HealthRIGHT 360). GLIDE has founded and sustained visionary programming and achieved tangible results for tens of thousands of individuals and families, and remains a life-changing gateway to comprehensive care that embraces every individual with dignity and respect.

Volunteer

Join some 10,000 volunteers who contribute 65,000 hours of service to the community each year.

At the same time, GLIDE has been on the front line of virtually every prominent civil and human rights struggle of the last half century – from the Vietnam War in the 1960s-70s, to the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, and the battle for LGBTQ equality throughout. As a longtime advocate for the poor and marginalized, GLIDE provides a framework for both personal and social transformation, changing attitudes and policies that perpetuate poverty and inequality. GLIDE’s unique position as a highly progressive institution beloved by people across the political spectrum makes it a true common ground for dialogue, cooperation and social change.

Advocate

Join us in organizing for equality and beloved community for all people.

GLIDE’s Founders

REVEREND CECIL WILLIAMS

As Co-Founder and Minister of Liberation of GLIDE, Reverend Cecil Williams has expanded the limits of spirituality, compassion and diversity for more than fifty years. An inexhaustible minister, author, social activist, lecturer, community leader and spokesperson for the poor and underserved, Reverend Williams is recognized as a national leader at the forefront of the struggle for civil and human rights. His rousing ministry underscores his roots in liberation theology. His vision for the 21st-century church can be seen in GLIDE’s unique and powerful blend of spirituality, principled compassion and advocacy, and cutting-edge programs for those most in need. People of all races, ethnic backgrounds, cultures, social classes, ages, faiths and sexual orientations join together at every Sunday Celebration to experience the energy of spiritual liberation coupled with the fusion of jazz, blues and gospel performed by the renowned GLIDE Ensemble and The Change band. Rev. Williams is the author of I’m Alive: An Autobiography and No Hiding Place: Empowerment and Recovery for Our Troubled Communities, and co-author with spouse and GLIDE Co-Founder Janice Mirikitani of Beyond the Possible: 50 Years of Creating Radical Change in a Community Called GLIDE.

JANICE MIRIKITANI

Janice Mirikitani is a poet, visionary, editor, administrator, community activist and Co-Founder of GLIDE, where in partnership with her husband, Reverend Cecil Williams, she has achieved worldwide recognition for groundbreaking programs that empower San Francisco’s poor and marginalized communities. A Sansei (third generation) Japanese American, Mirikitani and her family were confined in the Rohwer, Arkansas concentration camp during this country’s mass internment of Japanese Americans. She has sustained a decades-long passion to create programs for women and families struggling with issues of substance use, rape, incest, domestic violence, AIDS, single parenting, childcare, health and wellness, education and job development. In 2000, Mirikitani became San Francisco’s second Poet Laureate. She is the author of five books of poetry – Awake in the River; Shedding Silence; We, The Dangerous; Love Works; and Out of the Dust: New and Selected Poems – and editor of nine landmark anthologies providing platforms for writers of color, women, youth and children. Mirikitani is co-author with Rev. Cecil Williams of Beyond the Possible: 50 Years of Creating Radical Change in a Community Called GLIDE.

More than a church or a foundation, GLIDE is a movement, with an unparalleled ability to bring people together and change the way they interact with each other. GLIDE’s reach spans San Francisco’s diverse communities and constituencies and extends to people from around the region, country and world. At GLIDE, people are opportunities, not problems. The problems we face are structural: lack of housing, education, jobs, opportunities, understanding and inclusion. GLIDE’s force as a movement lies in its capacity to change the narrative under which these problems persist, to shape a new narrative in which all people are counted and activated. In its decades of service to the most in-need, GLIDE has already changed the way we see social services by humanizing poverty and marginalization and by living the values of radical inclusivity. The challenge now lies in continuing to change the narrative to one in which love and justice are two sides of the same coin.

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