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Justice Pilgrimage to Alabama

Confronting legacies of oppression

Since 2018

Three groups of GLIDE staff, community members and partners have made the journey

About the Program

Since 2018 GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice has taken a diverse cohort of individuals and groups to Alabama. In Alabama, we retrace the origins of racial injustice and to open our eyes to the injustices that continue today.

Together, we visit the many memorials and museums that tell the stories of enslavement and the through-line to contemporary mass incarceration. This pilgrimage is an immensely powerful experience for all participants. Many have discovered that when diverse people come together during the pilgrimage, common ground is found and they become allies in the struggle against racism. Participants gather multiple times in San Francisco before and after the journey, coalescing as a group and harnessing a collective fire for justice.

תשובה / Teshuva

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.’ We as Americans have never made teshuva for slavery on our soil. We’ve never had a process of Truth and Reconciliation like they did in South Africa after Apartheid. We view the visit to this museum and memorial on American soil as an important step 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.

Resources

This trip meant a lot, and forever holds my soul. My adoptive mother would say time will change if we make a step forward… My mother’s mom and dad were born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1924. They lived in the back woods, in a one-room shack. They worked as housekeepers for the rich. Whoever they were gave the kids the option to make money in the cotton fields.
in short (my soul hurts)
but glad i made a step”

– Raphael, GLIDE Staff trip participant
(original format preserved from e-mail)