Realizing The Beloved Community

Dear GLIDE Community,

At this moment, more than 21,000 National Guard troops are stationed in Washington DC – four times as many soldiers as in Iraq and Afghanistan combined – to ensure the peaceful transfer of power in our democracy. This unprecedented military presence is symbolic of a nation historically divided by white privilege, racism, and violence. 

We are witnessing what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observed during the struggle for Civil Rights: that violent behavior breeds bitterness and chaos and undermines progress for us all. In contrast, Dr. King championed the idea that nonviolent protest, inclusion and reconciliation would lead to a more just and loving society – a beloved community.

On Monday, we celebrate the legacy of Dr. King and his vision of a world where inequality, discrimination and hate are transformed into equity, inclusion, and love. This vision has inspired our collective hopes and imagination, and our fight for justice. 

Guided by our core values of unconditional love and radical inclusion, GLIDE continues to embody Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community by advancing racial equity, creating pathways out of poverty and transforming lives –- by meeting hate with love and inclusion. We recognize from the division in our nation and the growing needs of the people of San Francisco — disproportionately people of color – that our work has never been more critical. 

To create the beloved community in our lifetime, we must take steps, both individually and collectively, to bridge our differences and strive for justice for all. Join me as we continue our efforts to realize Dr. King’s vision. I am honored and proud to be engaged in this work alongside all of you.

In Solidarity,

Karen Hanrahan

P.S. I invite you to participate in GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice virtual event, “How Am I Martin? Celebrating the Man,” on January 18 at 5:00 pm, which will feature insights on Dr. King from our co-founder Rev. Cecil Williams.