GLIDE is launching three programs to bring hope and healing to Black and African American residents of San Francisco who have experienced intergenerational violence due to systemic racism. A new mini-grant program for youth, racial healing program and rental assistance program have been funded for 18 months through a $750,000 grant to GLIDE from the Dream Keeper Initiative (www.dreamkeepersf.org), a citywide effort to reinvest in San Francisco’s diverse Black communities.
“GLIDE has championed racial justice for decades,” said Glide Memorial Church’s Minister Marvin K White. “To create better futures for Black communities in San Francisco, we must address with urgency the systemic underinvestment in these communities and the traumas of racism, poverty and violence that have been inflicted upon them for centuries.”
To create better futures for Black communities in San Francisco, we must address with urgency the systemic underinvestment in these communities and the traumas of racism, poverty and violence that have been inflicted upon them for centuries.
Each of the new programs takes a targeted approach to advance racial equity and provide Black and African American residents with pathways out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency—key goals of GLIDE’s strategic plan.
The Transition-Age Youth Mini-Grants Program will provide grants of as much as $500 each to Black/African American youth from 18 to 24 years of age who have been affected by community or domestic violence. As many as 150 grants will be awarded each year. Recipients may use the grants for a wide range of necessities, such as transportation or clothes, or for education.
GLIDE is accepting online applications for the mini-grants from February 15 to April 7, 2023.
“The recipients get to decide how they will use the grants,” said Saundra Haggerty, manager of the mini-grant program and of GLIDE’s Violence Intervention Program. “We trust that they know how the money will best help them.”
Haggerty added, “We view the mini-grants as a form of stimulus or reparations for youth who have gone through trauma because of the color of their skin. So many African American youth have been deeply harmed by the disparities of the criminal justice system.”
We view the mini-grants as a form of stimulus or reparations for youth who have gone through trauma because of the color of their skin. So many African American youth have been deeply harmed by the disparities of the criminal justice system.
These disparities include overrepresentation in prisons and overrepresentation in traffic stops (also known as pretext stops). In San Francisco, Black people make up more than 40% of the prison population and 26% of drivers stopped by police, but only 5% of the city population. And in the United States, Black people account for 28% of those killed in traffic stops, but just 13% of the population.
“The generational trauma of these statistics has made the possibility of being killed during a traffic stop expected and normalized,” Minister Marvin explained. Although GLIDE successfully advocated for a new policy to limit pretext stops in San Francisco (adopted by the Police Commission in January), the trauma and economic harm caused by these disparities persist.
“Young African Americans are often detained because they fit a profile,” Haggerty said. “They’re put in jail, and because they can’t afford bail, they lose their jobs.”
GLIDE’s Roots of Racial Healing Program, also funded by the Dream Keeper Initiative, will build on the truth, justice and reconciliation work of GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice (CSJ). Educational activities facilitated by CSJ faculty will cultivate a deeper understanding of the history of incarceration and violence toward African Americans in the United States, beginning with slavery, and inspire healing.
The third program helps to continue funding for GLIDE’s rental assistance initiative, which is designed to help struggling San Franciscans maintain stable housing and avoid eviction. It will provide emergency rental assistance grants to as many as 40 low-income, BIPOC households at risk of homelessness. GLIDE’s Walk-In Center case workers will screen applicants and determine their eligibility for grants of up to $5,000. Recipients may use these grants for rent, utilities, security deposits or moving costs. In addition, GLIDE will offer workshops to develop recipients’ financial and life skills.
Through its partnership with the Dream Keeper Initiative, GLIDE will expand its reach to more under-resourced communities in San Francisco and empower more individuals and families to stabilize their lives and thrive.