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Black History and Black Futures at GLIDE

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Dear GLIDE Community,I am honored to celebrate this Black History Month with you – or as we refer to it at Glide Memorial Church, Black Futures Month! While we recognize February for Black History, every day is Black History. One month a year is not enough!Our history and our future are so intertwined, it is worth considering that in many places around the country Black History is currently under attack. Books that shed light on our collective pasts are being removed from libraries. Academic classes that examine our history and its role in our current society are being canceled, de-funded and re–written. Teachers can be fired for sharing some of our most critical stories.These attacks not only tamper with the way our past is understood; they are an attempt to take power over our futures. Black History is not just something that happened to other people generations ago; it is the lives we lead and the communities we share every day.As we celebrate Black History Month and honor the struggles and journeys that brought us to this place, please commit some of your own personal energy towards uplifting these stories we call Black History. Read a book that someone is trying to prevent you from reading. Go see the new movie Origin, a spectacular and loving interpretation of the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, which examines the ways that hateful ideologies have been shared and amplified across cultures and around the world. Ask your friends or neighbors to share their personal stories of challenge and perseverance, or offer your own story to someone who will listen.And by all means, please join us at GLIDE for the many opportunities to celebrate Black History Month this February together:

  • Dream Keeper Initiative: This month we launched our 2nd round of the Dream Keeper Initiative Grant. The Dream Keeper Initiative (DKI) is a community-driven fund with the goal of reinvesting into San Francisco’s Black communities across a number of different activities, events and programs. As a proud participant in the Dream Keeper Initiative, GLIDE will support low-income Black San Francisco residents who have experienced intergenerational violence due to systemic racism. GLIDE aims to further our mission of breaking cycles of poverty and ensure that new investments – including in youth development and economic opportunity – are accessible to San Francisco’s families who are most in need. Learn more here.
  • Black History/Future video series: A new video interview series will feature the voices of our African American community. They will offer their personal stories of growing up Black in America, the learnings that were passed down to them from generations past, and share what Black History Month means to them. We will be releasing these weekly. You can view the first story of Ken Ward, our Social Media coordinator, here.
  • Sunday, February 11th, Tenderloin Black History Walking Tour at 1:00 pm. Participants are invited to enjoy a short film screening of “Reparations Conversations at Glide Memorial Church 2023,” filmed by Don Bowden (Tha Don), in GLIDE’s Freedom Hall. Afterward, at 1:30 pm, Del Seymour, founder of Code Tenderloin and GLIDE Board member, will showcase and share a piece of Black history in the Tenderloin. The tour will begin and end at Glide Memorial Church at 330 Ellis St. RSVP for the tour and film screening here.
  • Saturday, February 17th – Thursday, February 22nd, The 5th Annual Alabama Pilgrimage. The Alabama Pilgrimage is an immersive, experiential learning program of GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice. The pilgrimage seeks to tell the truth about American history, highlight inequities in health, economic, and criminal justice outcomes, articulate connections between slavery and mass incarceration, and interrupt current, incomplete narratives about oppression, crime, and punishment. This year, 50 participants from UCSF, GLIDE, and our Men in Progress Program will travel to Alabama together. The goal of this trip is to heal the wounds of enduring racism and economic inequality in San Francisco and beyond, and commit to concrete steps that promote racial justice in the future. You can follow along with our sojourners through the hashtag #PursuingProgress on social media and through our Love and eNews series.
  • Sunday, February 18th, Justice Sunday. Join us after services at Glide Memorial Church to help distribute blankets and hygiene kits to our neighbors, engage in justice advocacy and register to vote. Services begin at 9:00 am and 11:00 am. Learn more about the Celebration and events after here.
  • Sunday, February 25th, 1:00 pm – Soul of Justice Hybrid Movie Screening about the Honorable Thelton E. Henderson. Thelton E. Henderson graduated from Berkeley Law in 1962 – where he was one of just 2 Black students in his class – and was the first Black attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In the Deep South, he protected voter rights alongside everyday citizens and visionaries like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the federal bench, where he has championed transformative justice for nearly four decades. View the 57 minute film, by Bay Area filmmaker Abby Ginzberg, followed by a panel discussion hosted by Naeemah Charles, Senior Director of GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice. The film will screen in the sanctuary and online. Learn more and RSVP here.

Our work at GLIDE to create pathways out of poverty, fight systemic injustice, and transform lives is never ending. Thank you for being part of our shared history, and for working with us to alleviate suffering and build a radically inclusive future.With gratitude and love,

Dr. Fromer

Dr. Gina FromerPresident & CEO