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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 given GLIDE staff, Kitchen clergy, congregants, community partners and local leaders in health care, tech and criminal justice fields an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

Together they visit the memorial to lynching victims and museum about the through-line from slavery to mass incarceration, an immensely powerful experience for all participants. The groups gather multiple times in San Francisco before the journey and after returning, coalescing as a group and harnessing their 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)