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GLIDE Voices: Sunil Prasad on Asian American & Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander Month

During May, GLIDE Voices is highlighting Asian American and Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We asked Annual Giving Manager Sunil Prasad, “what GLIDE values resonate with you this month and why?

Sunil Prasad, Annual Giving Manager

This month, which is very significant on so many levels, the GLIDE values that continue to reverberate the loudest to me are unconditional love and eternal hope. We are all in recovery and as a community we have such a long way to go to heal together and bridge the divides that exist: without love and hope we cannot do this.

I am from the Fiji Islands. Many know it from ‘postcard images’ with white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and lush green rainforests. Sadly, we have also had a long history of political coups. I have lived through six such events before moving to the US about ten years ago. I joined GLIDE at the beginning of 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic started dominating the headlines and our lives.

Before the pandemic hit, I was already going through so much. I had lost someone very dear to me to fentanyl-related accidental overdose. When that happened I had to step away from a lot, from people and my job, to heal and accept my loss. At that time GLIDE’s compassionate and judgment-free work in harm reduction shined like a beacon to me.

I feel elated to be part of an organization that provides so much for others in need. From nutritious meals to health screenings, from crisis intervention services to resources that empower survivors of substance use disorders and partner violence. From supporting individuals to supporting families to fight for equity for all within our community. All of this with open hearts and arms. Without judgement.

In Fiji, food is considered very sacred. It brings the whole community together whether the occasion is celebratory or somber. Food breaks every cultural and traditional boundary to provide a sense of togetherness and love. And at GLIDE, we open our doors to everyone so that we feed the body and the soul.