More than 450 churchgoers on Sunday — record attendance since before the pandemic — got to hear from GLIDE’s new President and CEO, Dr. Gina Fromer.
Dr. Fromer shared the story of how she came to know GLIDE’s power as a young mother of three small boys. It was Thanksgiving, she remembered, and “I struggled with poverty in a community with minimal resources for families.”
A sixth-generation San Franciscan, she took three different buses to get to the Tenderloin for a turkey and extra groceries so her family could enjoy the holiday. Even though she felt some shame in asking for help, she was touched by the warm welcome and came back for the next two years.
“Glide was important to me as I was working my way out of poverty,” she told the congregation.
Four decades later, Dr. Fromer is an accomplished leader of influential nonprofits in the Bay Area. She arrives at GLIDE during an important turning point as Co-Founder Rev. Cecil Williams marks his 60th anniversary with the organization he built.
“Thank you to Cecil and Jan[ice Mirikitani] for laying the foundation for this amazing Glide movement over the past 60 years,” she said, adding, “My career path has led me to this very moment in time, and to this critical city anchor institution. … Responding to community is at the core of my passion for people and San Francisco.”
Dr. Fromer said she’s excited about the “three doors” that GLIDE holds open to meet individuals and families wherever they are in their lives. The Center for Social Justice is at the front lines of critical policy work in San Francisco that has implications statewide and nationally. Robust programs provide everything from meals, housing help and healthcare to those who need it. And the church provides a warm entry point for community members, advocates and clients.
“We want to disrupt the pipelines to poverty,” she said, “and create pathways to healing spiritually, mentally and physically.”
You can listen to Dr. Fromer’s full remarks here.