Throughout May we celebrate and honor the rich culture, contributions, diversity, and resilience of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. It is a special month at GLIDE. And it is also every day at GLIDE, where we embody the opportunity for healing and unity through our diversity.
So much of the GLIDE community is comprised of people of AANHPI heritage – our leadership, our staff, and clients, our donors and volunteers, our friends. All are fundamental to who we are and how we transform lives across San Francisco. Our heritage is rooted in the legacy of GLIDE’s co-founder, Janice Mirikitani, whose legacy of love, strength, and healing for all people is also rooted in her personal experience overcoming abuse and injustice.
The lived experiences of the AANHPI community resonate daily within and around GLIDE. From accomplishments on the national stage in leadership, social justice, business, and philanthropy, to the heroism and ingenuity of our staff, volunteers, and community partners who assist those in need across San Francisco. Throughout GLIDE’s nearly 60-year history, we have celebrated members of the AANHPI community, because they are us and we are them. Together we are the beloved community.
Yet, echoes of historical injustices against the AANHPI community sound again as hate crimes increased with the rise of COVID-19. These acts of violence are a chilling reminder of the consequences of political scapegoating and our nation’s long and systemic history of erasing and denying our patterns of stereotyping, silencing, exploiting, and perpetuating acts of brutality against the AANHPI community.
It is time to end this violent history and to carve new paths for healing and justice. We must begin by shining a light on the realities of the AANHPI experiences in our country, by exposing the travesties of history, speaking out loudly against violence, and demanding accountability. This radical truth-telling is a prerequisite to progress, an essential step for any nation to move out from under and beyond hate crimes and racial injustice. Once we lift up the truth, we must take action that fosters accountability, compassion, dialogue, and, eventually, reconciliation. GLIDE is doing this work. As we publicly condemn the violence and call for accountability, we are also leading initiatives that build pathways to empathy, trust and reconciliation. Our innovative work with police, healthcare workers, companies, and our own diverse community is changing how people see themselves and each other.
When we come together in these ways, with resilience, lifting each other up and embracing and cherishing our diversity, we build a better future that is bigger than the sum of the parts. GLIDE has stood for and with the AANHPI community. We always have, and we always will.
With love and in solidarity,
Karen J. Hanrahan
President & CEO