GLIDE is a nationally recognized center for social justice, dedicated to fighting systemic injustices, creating pathways out of poverty and crisis, and transforming lives. Through our integrated comprehensive services, advocacy initiatives, and inclusive community, we empower individuals, families, and children to achieve stability and thrive.
GLIDE is on the forefront of addressing some of society’s most pressing issues, including poverty, housing and homelessness, and racial and social justice.
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.
We welcome everyone. We value our differences. We respect everyone.
We each tell our story. We each 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.
Karen HanrahanPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Karen Hanrahan is an executive leader with twenty years of experience advancing human rights and building high-impact global initiatives around the world. Ms. Hanrahan has worked in the public and private sectors to build movements, lead change and build high-impact organizations and initiatives on a global scale. She has served as a senior appointee in the Obama administration, a United Nations aid worker, a corporate and non-profit executive and a thought leader in global development, human rights and public-private innovation. In her efforts to drive social change and spur social innovation, she has partnered with heads of state, global corporations, local communities, religious leaders, and military forces. She has brought creativity and innovation to intractable challenges in economic development, global health and international human rights. Ms. Hanrahan began her career on the frontlines of advocacy in the Middle East, working with Palestinian youth groups to organize and advocate for non-violent change. She worked to free sex slaves in Afghanistan, to prevent child and exploitative labor in Bangladesh, to end torture in Iraq, to free political prisoners in Ethiopia and to reform abusive security forces around the world. A lawyer by training, Ms. Hanrahan has dedicated her career to changing abusive and discriminatory laws and systems, working across lines of politics, race and geography. Ms. Hanrahan served as an appointee in the Obama administration for seven years, including two years overseeing a major project for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Ms. Hanrahan advanced human rights and freedom in Africa and South and Central Asia; she worked closely with global corporations on issues of corporate social responsibility, community engagement and human rights; and she shaped US and global policies on gender, LGBTQI, labor rights and security. Ms. Hanrahan also served in the Obama Administration as the U.S. Coordinator for International Assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan. She went on to design and run the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (the QDDR) for Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, a major strategic planning and organizational change initiative that has strengthened how the United States conducts diplomacy and development. Ms. Hanrahan also served as the Chief Innovation Officer for the UK Department for International Development (DFID), on detail assignment in London, where she built the organization’s innovation capabilities and catalyzed novel solutions to long-standing development challenges. Ms. Hanrahan has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including serving as the State Department’s Senior Rule of Law Coordinator in Iraq and Senior Consultant to the Iraqi Minister of Human Rights. Prior to this, she served with USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives in Iraq as the Senior Advisor on Human Rights and Transitional Justice. Ms. Hanrahan went on to serve as Vice President for International Peace and Stability in a Fortune 500 company, leading a large-scale organizational change effort and travelling around the world to integrate human rights, rule of law and security assistance. Ms. Hanrahan is an alumna of Harvard Business School, University of Washington School of Law and The American University School of International Service, Master’s program in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. She has studied Arabic and French. In May 2018, Karen was named one of SF Business Times’ “Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business.”
Miguel BustosSenior Director, Center for Social Justice
Born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District, Miguel grew up steeped in community activism and has dedicated himself to public policy at both the local and national levels for many years. He was the first person in his large family to attend college, and he continued on to pursue two graduate degrees. Before coming to GLIDE, Miguel served as policy adviser for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore; Deputy District Director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Director of Boards and Commissions for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom; and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Oakland Mayor Ronald V. Dellums. These opportunities have gifted him the experience to know how to translate vision into policy; dreams into appropriations; and disparate voices into coalitions. Finally, he has broad experience in managing people and resources having overseen three not-for-profits and countless volunteers. Miguel knows the value of communication when it comes to achieving long and short-range goals and objectives. Currently, Miguel is the Senior Director of the GLIDE Center for Social Justice, where he oversees the expansion of CSJ’s work, including growing GLIDE’s advocacy and policy-related efforts, Community Engagement and Volunteer program, drop-in legal clinic, community leaders and internship programming, and more. He also served on GLIDE’s Board of Trustees for five years before accepting his current role with CSJ!
Val FeldmanSenior Director, Strategic Learning and Impact
Valerie Feldman is GLIDE’s Senior Director of Strategic Learning and Impact. As a key member of the Impact and Strategy team, she leads cross-system efforts to align GLIDE’s many strategies to affect change in and for the community. In this capacity, she also provides strategic oversight to GLIDE’s research and evaluation department, the Center for Applied Learning and Impact (CALI), which leads GLIDE in its evolution as a learning organization.
Valerie brings more than 15 years of experience in designing and leading mixed-methods research on various social issues including racial justice, sex work politics, and immigrant youth-serving organizations. Prior to GLIDE, Valerie spent several years leading teams in strategic planning, evaluation, and impact assessment for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, primarily in the Jewish community sector.
Valerie holds a PhD and MA in Sociology from the University of California, Davis. She lives in the East Bay with her partner and two overly affectionate cats.
James LinSenior Director, Mission and Spirituality
James Lin is the Senior Director of Mission and Spirituality at the GLIDE Foundation, where he has held several roles since joining GLIDE in 2005, including founding GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice and co-directing Human Resources and Organizational Integration. Prior to working at GLIDE, James directed the Multicultural Resource Center at Reed College. In the community, he has facilitated groups for the UCSF Alliance Health Project and in the Interpersonal Dynamics course at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and did volunteer legal intake for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders GLAD) in Boston. He currently co-chairs the University Council on Community Engagement at the University of San Francisco. James is ABD for the doctorate in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University and was a Fellow in the Center for Molecular Biology at the Universität Heidelberg in Germany. He lives in Oakland, California.
Lilian MarkSenior Director of Programs
Lillian Mark serves as GLIDE’s Senior Director of Programs. She oversees GLIDE’s implementation of strategic initiatives for the unhoused and portfolio of client service programs to assist marginalized residents in the Tenderloin neighborhood and communities in need across San Francisco. Lillian joined GLIDE in 2004 while an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley through the organization’s Epworth Emerging Leaders Internship Program, and then she never left. Upon graduation, Lillian joined GLIDE’s Executive Office as a project assistant but found herself wanting more, to be “more proximate” to the community. Since then, Mark has worked in multiple and progressively more responsible roles. Lillian has served as Community Safety and Training Manager and Division Manager for Operations, supporting program operations and managing client services. And, most recently, as Deputy Director of Programs, she led GLIDE programs through significant developments, including integrating mental health training with the Community Safety Team, innovating structural changes to holiday events during the pandemic, and leading client services offered through the Tenderloin Community Resource Hub with COVID-19 testing and equity vaccination efforts. Do not let Lillian’s somewhat youthful appearance fool you. If you want good “back in the day” stories about GLIDE—after 17 years of committed service at GLIDE– she’s got some great stories!
Michael McAlpinSenior Director, Strategic Communications
Michael McAlpin is Senior Director for Strategic Communication at GLIDE and leads communications efforts to highlight the impact of the Foundation’s social justice mission. He has more than two decades of experience as an equity-centered communications strategist and as an award-winning journalist. Michael previously served as a senior communications officer for Saint Mary’s College of California, responsible for its strategic communications and marketing campaigns. During a distinguished public media career at WTTW/Chicago and WGBH/Boston, he crafted people-centered stories about cultural, social, and economic concerns in Black communities and chronicled the impact of educational disparities. His journalism work has garnered local and national recognition, including numerous regional Emmy nominations, an Emmy Award for a film on Black Korean War veterans, and the National Association for Black Journalists Best Documentary Prize for Record Row: Cradle of Rhythm & Blues, a film about Chicago’s storied R&B history. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communication from Columbia College of Chicago and is the recipient of a prestigious Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard University. A proud father of two remarkable daughters who both are pursuing creative careers in LA, Michael lives in the East Bay with his wife Anisha, an anti-oppression consultant, and their sometimes-friendly cat Astro.
Leigh HansonInterim Chief Development Officer
Leigh Hanson currently serves as GLIDE’s Interim Chief Development Officer overseeing the Foundation’s $25 million contributed, contract and earned revenue strategies. Leigh is also the Senior Director of Institutional Partnerships and Owner’s Representative for GLIDE’s real estate modernization project.
Leigh is a cross sector leader with experience in the public, private and social sectors. Prior to joining GLIDE, Leigh spent several years advising Mayors from across the country on how best to advance their key priorities through public-private partnerships, including as Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Development.
Leigh has also worked in the philanthropic sector for almost 10 years. She served in key executive advisory roles at the Heinz Endowments, as Strategic Projects Advisor to the President, and at The Pittsburgh Foundation, as Special Assistant to the President and CEO.
Leigh earned her bachelor’s in international affairs and economics from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR. After serving with the Charitable Division of U.S. Bank, Leigh also earned a Masters of Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University with a focus on nonprofit management. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband, young son and dog Opie.
Bernadette RobertsonChief People Officer
Bernadette Robertson leads GLIDE’s Human Resources department and our efforts to modernize and evolve our talent and human resource capabilities as GLIDE grows to meet the needs of our community. Most recently, Bernadette served as the Chief Talent Officer for Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), so she comes to GLIDE with a deep understanding of the Tenderloin and the people we serve. Bernadette has supported many organizations through significant growth, and has a rich experience combining broad strategic thinking with effective ongoing operational practices. We are proud to have her with us!