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Blessing GLIDE’s Alabama Justice Pilgrimage

 Alabama trip blessing at church 

Glide Memorial Church Blessing 

On Sunday February 11th, Minister Marvin K White and Rabbi Michael Lezak blessed the individuals going to Alabama with the Center for Social Justice.

Here are a few ways you can support those embarking on this important journey:

  • Continue to hold those traveling in your prayers during their journey.
  • Join in the learning, by reading, listening and watching the materials that are required for participants (listed below)
  • Follow the journey of those #pursuingprogress on GLIDE’s social media: InstagramFacebookLinkedInTwitter and YouTube.

Background About the Trip

In April 2018, the GLIDE Center for Social Justice and The Kitchen took 85 people on pilgrimage to the opening of the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. In the months before we left, this group gathered several times at GLIDE to study together, to think deeply about enduring racism in our city, our state, and our country and to build relationships across lines of race, class, religion and education. Needless to say, the visits to the museum (which connects the dots from slavery to mass incarceration) and to the memorial (to lynching victims) were searingly powerful. The images we saw and the stories we heard agitated us, summoned us to ask hard questions, and ultimately sent us back home to San Francisco with hunger to deepen our connections to one another and to deepen our collective justice work here in the Bay Area and beyond.

The Alabama Justice Pilgrimage is central to GLIDE’s work to heal the wounds of enduring racism and economic inequality in San Francisco, the Bay Area and beyond. We are going back on our fifth Pilgrimage, a five-day transformational journey in February 2024, with a select group of healthcare leaders from San Francisco.

The Hebrew word תשובה / teshuva, which is often translated as ‘repentance’ appears in daily and High Holy Day liturgy. A better translation of the word would be ‘to make amends.’ As Americans, we have never made teshuva for slavery on our soil. We’ve never had a process of Truth and Reconciliation as South Africa did after Apartheid. We view the opening of this Museum and Memorial and GLIDE’s recurring Pilgrimages as important steps in an American Teshuva Project, a journey of turning and truth-telling that we must engage in as Americans if we are ever to heal the festering wounds of slavery. Part of this enduring Teshuva work necessitates working for equity-advancing changes to the American healthcare system.

We want to learn together and build relationships before we go to Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery. When we get back from this transformational journey, we want to partner with you to harness the fire for truth and justice we stoke in Alabama; we want to channel that fire into joint projects back here at home.

Pre-Pilgrimage Learning