As GLIDE joins the nation in monthlong celebrations of Black culture and community, we are intentional in recognizing the organizing, the familial, creative, and spiritual work of black leadership that is leading the next generation of GLIDE, San Francisco, and the United States. In this vein, GLIDE observes Black History Month through the lens of Black Futures, affirming our conviction that we will continue to support Black people, and work towards liberation, justice and equity, no matter how far off it seems. In this intentional visionary framing, we weave reflections of the past with hopefulness to create a roadmap to a truly free and self-determined future for Black people.
Black Futures work at GLIDE recognizes that if we are to carve a better world for our communities now and communities coming, then we must address health, economic, and education disparities, now. Racial redlining and systemic underinvestment in Black communities contributes to staggering income disparities, compounding with an overrepresentation of Black people in prisons – More than 40% of the prison population in San Francisco is Black, despite constituting only 5% of the general city population. And, as we grieve the egregious murder of yet another Black man, Tyre Nichols, we are reminded of the institutional work that must be addressed with urgency, and the collective open wounds of trauma that must be healed.
Black Futures work at GLIDE recognizes that if we are to carve a better world for our communities now and communities coming, we must address health, economic, and education disparities.
Black Futures work is GLIDE’s day-to-day work. GLIDE has championed racial justice for decades and this year we continue to lead in this vital movement. Through coalition work with GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice, our community celebrated a historic advocacy win as the San Francisco Police Commission voted in January to adopt the most comprehensive policy in the United States to curtail racially biased traffic stops. As GLIDE charts a course for reparations in San Francisco, Glide Memorial Church engages the community in black liberation theologies, and in monthly conversations about reparations and freedom dreaming. And, the GLIDE Foundation has embarked on a new partnership and grant opportunity with the Dream Keeper Initiative to provide stipends to Black youth and young adults aged 18 to 24.
During Black Futures Month, we must engage in conversation and visioning about a world where Black individuals and communities are free from the burdens of systemic racism, poverty, violence, and trauma that have been inflicted upon them for centuries. The goals of this monthlong celebration are to foster dialogue, create awareness, and inspire action towards achieving racial equity. This month, and every month, Glide Memorial Church’s Sunday Celebrations celebrate Black prophetic traditions, and the role of music that inspires us onward. By inspiring meaningful conversations, and activating the spirit of justice in everyone, we’ll create a better future for Black people everywhere.
Black Futures work is GLIDE’s day-to-day work.
Black Futures inspires hope, a core value that we hold close to our hearts at GLIDE. We unconditionally love, feed and provide lifesaving and joy saving services for those living below the physical, economic, and spiritual poverty line. This month especially, GLIDE expresses gratitude for the countless Black staff members, leaders, volunteers and supporters who created the programs, policies and places into which GLIDE is being called. We thank the Black elders among our co-workers, clients, and congregation, who have gone ahead and come back to tell us that we will make it. That GLIDE will make it. That if we all move towards Black Futures, we all have a share in wisdom, joy, and love.
Happy Black Futures Month.
As always, love always,
Marvin K White
Minister of Celebration
Glide Memorial Church