GLIDE is a social justice movement, social service provider and spiritual community dedicated to strengthening communities and transforming lives. Located in San Francisco’s culturally vibrant but poverty-stricken Tenderloin neighborhood, GLIDE addresses the needs of, and advocates for, the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals and families among us. Building on the 50-year legacy of Co-Founders Rev. Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani, GLIDE challenges inequities and stands with the poor, people of color, LGBTQ persons, and others facing oppression, isolation and stigma, while offering a holistic, integrated model of programs and services to address the complex needs of the community. Today, under the leadership of President and CEO Karen Hanrahan, GLIDE continues to deepen its impact and extend its reach to thousands of people in need. Through comprehensive services, fearless advocacy and spiritual connection, GLIDE remains a powerful beacon of hope for a healthier, more just and inclusive city.
Mission & Values
GLIDE's mission is to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. Our Core Values emerge from GLIDE as a spiritual movement. They are rooted in empowerment, recovery and personal transformation. Our values inspire and guide our behaviors. They are the ground we stand on.
Learn more about GLIDE's values.
We welcome everyone. We value our differences. We respect everyone.
We tell our story. We speak our truth. We listen.
Loving and Hopeful
We are all in recovery. We are a healing community. We love unconditionally.
For the People
We break through barriers. We serve each other. We change the world.
We sing. We dance. We laugh together. We celebrate life.
San Francisco philanthropist Lizzie Glide purchases a parcel at Ellis and Taylor Streets and founds Glide Foundation, whose charitable mission includes establishing a church as “a house of worship for all people".
A renewed commitment
In 1963, a young African American minister named Cecil Williams joins other progressive ministers at GLIDE determined to bring life into a dying congregation. Welcoming in the diverse community of hippies, prostitutes, chronic drug users, transgender youth, and other poor and the marginalized people of the Tenderloin, GLIDE offers refuge and support, becoming a home for political and cultural change as well as spiritual growth.
For the People
As the Vietnam War continues to escalate, GLIDE becomes known as the counterculture rallying point in San Francisco. Everyone from Bill Graham to Angela Davis comes to GLIDE Celebrations to speak out and join in community. KMEL and K101 radio begin broadcasting GLIDE's Sunday message throughout the Bay Area, as the Bay Area increasingly looks to GLIDE for moral guidance, social solidarity and spiritual sustenance
Confronting new crises
Guided by Janice's leadership and Cecil's steady vision of supporting the disenfranchised, GLIDE programs increase in size and scope. The flagship Daily Free Meals Program kicks into overdrive, and begins feeding the hungry and homeless three times a day. The Generations program holds its first graduation ceremony in 1987. From protesting the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory's development of nuclear weapons to leading the Northern California Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Observance Committee, GLIDE walks the walk for peace, equality and justice while organizing to address the crack cocaine epidemic and the AIDS crisis, twin scourges on the health of the community.
Building the beloved community
Not content to let those afflicted by crack find their way to GLIDE, Cecil takes the Facts on Crack movement into the housing projects. Meanwhile, GLIDE's fame continues to grow as the likes of President Bill Clinton, Sharon Stone and Oprah Winfrey come to Celebrations and commend GLIDE as a model of compassionate community in action.
A strong foundation
GLIDE enters the 21st century with a surplus of vision, enthusiasm and hope. In 2000, Reverend Douglass Fitch is appointed pastor of GLIDE Church. Janice, as Executive Director and President, restructures GLIDE to meet the ever-evolving needs of the community. In the late 2000s, Willa Seldon comes on as CEO (2007-2010) and two new pastors, Rev. Donald Guest and Rev. Karen Oliveto, join GLIDE Church. Cecil continues as Minister of Liberation and Janice as Founding President.
Our Time Is Now
The Bay Area is roiled by a historic economic boom that has highlighted an ever-widening gap between those with means and those left behind. Historic racial-ethnic enclaves are disappearing, and the Tenderloin—long a “safe space” for people down on their luck—is part of the fierce citywide competition over space and resources. Through these challenges, GLIDE remains an oasis for those most in need. Under President and CEO Karen Hanrahan, GLIDE is refining its service approach to reach more people and deepen its impact while creating pathways towards better lives. GLIDE’s expanding Center for Social Justice, meanwhile, is at work in the community mobilizing the power of love for personal growth and social betterment.
Our organization is lead by a diverse cross-section of dedicated individuals with backgrounds in non-profit, education, business and more.
Kaye FosterChair, GLIDE Board of Trustees
Karen HanrahanPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Rita ShimminExecutive Director
Miguel BustosSenior Director, Center for Social Justice
Derek TynesChief Human Resources Officer
Kyriell NoonSenior Director of Programs
James LinSenior Director, Mission and Spirituality
Kim BenderSenior Director of Development
Jean CooperChief of Staff
The latest stories about GLIDE from across the media landscape.
Who Are San Francisco’s Most Generous Citizens?
GLIDE in the New York Times! James Sampaga, Isoke Femi & Rev. Cecil Williams are sketched and quoted as the "angel investors" they are.
Glide Memorial shines light into the dark corners of people's lives
A special Black History Month interview with Rev. Cecil Williams.