And Now, We Feast!

P1170691Graze the Roof is excited to partner with Feastly for an upcoming brunch Sunday July 20th. Feastly connects adventurous diners, passionate community members, and tasteful food enthusiasts for unique food experiences. This collaboration is a great opportunity to fundraise for the garden, as well as increase access to and awareness of the rooftop garden itself. In addition, we gardeners LOVE food and joining the vibrant members of our community around the table to share it with.

P1170689Our chef for the event, Caetie Ofiesh, is a Bay Area chef specializing in local and fresh ingredients for the adventurous palate. She pulls flavors and textures from a wide range of cuisines and combines them with the best local seasonal produce to create satisfying, compelling meals. Caetie is a mobile chef who does most of her grocery and market shopping on her bike, which helps to support her rampant sweet tooth.

We look forward to inspiring conversation and delicious seasonal eats. The money raised will support the next phase of Graze the Roof…

P1170686In January of 2015 we will begin the first phase of Graze the Roof 2.0: a redesigned and reimagined approach to urban rooftop container gardening. We envision an integration of aquaponics, a lightweight greenhouse, more vertical gardens and more! 

We very much look forward to seeing everyone at the brunch!

Take a look at the menu, how to get tickets, and get more information regarding all that Feastly does here!

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Meet Ross: A Search for Ritual

P1170674My experience volunteering at GLIDE began as a search for ritual. I moved to San Francisco from Washington D.C. in February to start a new job at a small real estate investment and development firm. Although I never expected the transition to be seamless, I was caught off guard by certain adjustments I’ve had to make as part of the move. On one hand, I did my research was braced upon arrival for the lack of seasons, the absurd topography, and the fervent debate over technology and gentrification that dominates the city’s political discourse.

What I didn’t prepare for was the sense of emotional dislocation that I would experience as part of changing coasts and jobs all at once. For one, I didn’t expect to feel so distant from my family, who still live in New York City where I grew up. Missing them has been a struggle with which I continue to search for ways to cope. I was also surprised by how familiar each element of my life in DC had become (I had only moved there three years prior) and how much I would yearn for the simple routines I had previously taken for granted. My commute, professional responsibilities, and extra-curricular activities had all become part of a rhythm for me and I was shocked by how lost I felt without them.

As an effort to both establish a groove and distract myself from my sense of longing, I began to seek out new routines to practice. Many of them were fun and helped me embrace San Francisco’s culture. I started biking to work, hiking on weekends, and practicing Yoga on Friday mornings. Lately I’ve joined a small dinner club that tries out one of the Bay Area’s amazing bars and restaurants every few Wednesdays (it’s called HDDD – Hump Day Dinners & Dives). None of these, however, has come close to making the impact of my new Monday morning ritual. Read more ›

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Be a Part of Something Bigger than Yourself

by Kristen Growney Yamamoto, GLIDE Co-Executive Director


Last week, GLIDE hosted A GLIDE Talk with Ben Horowitz and Lars Dalgaard as two venture capitalists from Andreessen Horowitz discussed Horowitz’s best-selling book The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers and explored the intersection of tech and community. Felicia Horowitz, a leader, generous supporter and frequent volunteer at GLIDE, inspired the event to bring awareness in tech to our work and create more connections. She opened the event with her personal story of opportunity, which immediately set the tone that this is a place where vulnerability is powerful, belief in the potential of everyone, and we are all together here, despite our perceived differences.


I read Ben Horowitz’s book several months ago. What’s stuck with me is how impressed I am/was with Ben’s belief in people—inclusive and accepting of the gifts inside of everyone. I also like the style of how he communicates, in a crisp way, the toughness it takes to run a startup organization. It also was very validating to see the ups and downs of startups in print. I’m married to a 4-time entrepreneur in the medical device industry, and ride the roller coaster as a spouse. I know it’s not easy, and takes an incredible amount of fortitude and persistence. Entrepreneurs never give up and it’s not always pretty. Ben’s book shows this –what a breath of fresh air!


Lars and Ben, obviously, comfortable with each other, brought out a unique conversation, one far more personal than I expected. It shed insight into the ‘whys’ of their career, and life—family, slavery, dignity. Several times, they brought those lessons back to the work we do at GLIDE, bridging the worlds of tech and non-tech (which GLIDE most certainly falls into) and relating to our common humanity, dignity, and the role of each of us in doing something bigger than ourselves.   WOW!


Their talk felt like the perfect alignment of their trust and relationship with each other, our mission, and their experiences. I wondered if Lars and Ben would have that same conversation with tech audience (which it predominately was) at a tech conference or other gathering where they are regularly interviewed. Or was it the conversation being held here at GLIDE, which creates a je ne sais quoi that opens up people to act most freely and personally?

Both Ben and Lars challenged attendees to be a part of something bigger than themselves, in their work and in relation with others. Lars asked attendees to come to the corner of Ellis and Taylor in SF and ask themselves how they feel about what they see? James Beshara, CEO of Crowdtilt invited attendees, followers and supporters of GLIDE Talk to help via #poweredbyLOVE campaign on Crowdtilt. With 59 ’tilters, we’ve raised over $22,000! With three days left, we are inviting the community to help us raise $30,000 to benefit GLIDE’s programs serving the most vulnerable communities in San Francisco. Top contributors will be rewarded a few unique experiences, check it out and get ’tilted.

You can get involved here by volunteering your time, expertise, and resources. We rely on volunteers and supporters to make our work possible! Start with our website to learn more.

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True Impact – GLIDE is the 2014 True Impact Prize Winner

Reposted from True Ventures Blog originally posted on June 18, 2014 by Jon Callaghan and Christiaan Vorkink

Amy Errett, Founder of True portfolio company Madison Reed, Special Advisor to True and Chair of the Board of Trustees at GLIDE in conversation with GLIDE Co-Founders Rev. Cecil Willliams and Janice Mirikitani

It’s not every day that you get to meet a legend—let alone two of them—and engage in a rich discussion about the problems and opportunities facing our city and our time. It’s also not every day that you get to learn from two of the bravest and most inspiring people in many generations. For everyone who attended True University 2014, that day was yesterday.

Yesterday, we welcomed The Reverend Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani, the Founders of GLIDE, to True University. GLIDE is a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. For 50 years, GLIDE has provided over 80 programs to the residents of San Francisco, including feeding the hungry, violence prevention education, healthcare, “greening” the Tenderloin, spiritual services, leadership development and more. GLIDE aims to meet people where they are and help them become self-sufficient, joyful, strong leaders. To continue reading, please visit True Ventures Blog.

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2014 GLIDE Emerging Leaders Interns Represent!

Join GLIDE in welcoming the 2014 GLIDE Emerging Leaders Interns! Monday, June 16th was the first day for the 2014 Interns, who will be spending the next ten weeks at GLIDE working, learning, and participating in community with us. This is the 12th year of the program, whose mission is to introduce the next generation of community leaders to GLIDE’s practices of radical acceptance, inclusion, and bold service. Isoke Femi, GLIDE’s Coordinator for the Emerging Leaders Program shares, “The transformative aspect of GLIDE’s mission is core to the leadership training. The hope is that transformed minds will transform culture.

2014 GLIDE Emerging Leaders Program

2014 GLIDE Emerging Leaders Program

“This internship is our gift to the next generation — 10 weeks of both raw and distilled experiences in practicing acceptance, circulating love, and getting your hands into the work,” shares James Lin, Co-Director of Human Resources Organizational Integration. “Having worked with college students for over 20 years, I know the extraordinary gifts they can bring to an organization, both spiritually and in very practical terms. I had a student who had run a successful Congressional campaign before he even graduated from college. There are no limits on what is possible.”

This year’s interns include five UC Berkeley students supported by the Epworth Trust, as well as six additional students from schools as far away as Birmingham, Alabama and Elizabeth, New Jersey. Each of them is thrilled to have this opportunity, and GLIDE is looking forward to seeing their gifts flourish here. James further adds, “Student interns infuse our programs with new streams of inspiration — they’re like that ribbon of fudge in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s that makes the ice cream all the more fresh and delicious. Their awe reminds us of all the reasons we committed to this work, their questions help us see new opportunities, and their growth challenges us to keep up with them.”

The students will be spending the next two weeks in immersion, followed by a placement in a program or department across GLIDE. When you see these young people at GLIDE in the programs, hallways, classrooms, offices, and across GLIDE’s social platforms, please take a moment to welcome these young adults into your part of GLIDE’s world.

The 2014 GLIDE Emerging Leaders Interns are:


“Throughout my time here at GLIDE, I hope to positively impact the lives of others, as well as learn about myself and during this journey. I love to watch baseball games with my family, camp, and read.” – Anabel Razo, University of California, Merced


“I hope to transform my world view, and to continually grow in compassion, and understanding in order to create positive change in the GLIDE community. I love the color purple, eating salami and watching sunsets.” – Anita Lin, University of California, Berkeley


“My name is Delaney, and I am one of the emerging leaders. I am just overall excited to learn so much about the community and be a part of this loving family. I come from the mostly foggy city of Daly City, and my hobbies include theater, hanging out with people, and spending too much time on social media!!” – Delaney Woo, University of California, Berkeley


“I’m studying psychology, dance and performance, and disability studies at Berkeley, and am super interested in how all of the arts play a role in people’s lives. In my free time I dance, read, write, hang out, make excessive amounts of to do lists, try new dishes (cooking and eating), and boss people around. :) I want to learn to stretch with love and wisdom at GLIDE!” – Elissa Lee, University of California, Berkeley


“I am so stoked to be working at GLIDE this summer because it is such a powerful and truly impactful organization. I hope to build relationships with clients, staff, and interns alike, grow in my experience here, and learn and partake in the approaches that GLIDE takes in combating poverty and marginalization. In my spare time, I am an avid baker (and make some mean cake balls), an aspiring professional eater, and I lead a secret double life as an aqua ninja, spending 18+ hours in a pool every week, saving the world one wave at a time and going by the alias Jack-Attack.” – Jackie Tran, Pomona College


“In this GLIDE Emerging Leaders Internship process, I hope to develop my own inner strength, practical skills and knowledge in order to truly engage in and implement community projects that work to reduce social injustice and disparities of opportunity. I am excited to be able to work with such incredible people in the GLIDE community and also in an organization that has such a diverse range of thoughtful, compassionate programs that work with an underserved population. Since childhood, I have always loved milk, hot Cheetos, watching television and imagining fictional stories as reality.” – James Huynh, University of California, Berkeley


“I am very excited to expand my horizon and understanding of the people I wish to positively impact in the future. Uncovering the truths of our reality in the emerging leaders program with help get to know myself in a way I would have never discovered on my own. I enjoy collaborating creatively with others and playing softball.” – Kiyana Merritt, Elizabeth City State University


“I’m a book-lover, wanderer and life-enthusiast. I want to learn how to be more radically inclusive in all aspects of my life.” – Marisa Sitz, Birmingham Southern College


“Through my internship at GLIDE, I hope to learn, love, and live in completely new ways. I’m passionate about empowering the world’s youth through education and community support and I’m so excited to be a part of Glide’s mission to embrace radical inclusivity.Some of my interests are teaching, baking, painting, and cross-country running.” – Morgan Hicks, University of California, Berkeley


“I hope to gain insight into myself and the human condition, learning from hands on interaction, stories, and practice. The atmosphere at GLIDE makes me excited to experience new situations and learn from my failures. I am energetic, love theater and storytelling, and believe that traveling (both physically and mentally) is one of the most important aspects of experiencing life.” – Sofia DeMay, University of California, Los Angeles



“I hope to see humanity like never before in my life and open my heart to as much as possible. I’m a Stanford student studying creative writing, I’m fascinated by spirituality, and can’t wait for this summer.” – Tommy Ford, Stanford University


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Meet GLIDE intern Amnoni Myers

Amnoni_smallPortraitAmnoni Myers, a social work student at Gordon College in Boston, MA, recently completed her Social Work Practicum at GLIDE’s Walk-In Center and Women’s Center through the Westmont Urban Studies Program. “Before I even interviewed I came to a Sunday Celebration and just fell in love – I love the environment, I love what GLIDE is doing,” says Amnoni.

In addition to working in both the Walk-In Center and the Women’s Center for six months, and even singing in the GLIDE Ensemble, Amnoni also participated in a poetry workshop led by Janice Mirikiani with members of the Women’s Center. The three week writing sessions culminated in the exhibit “Behind the Mask: Beauty Revealed,” which was presented at Sunday Celebration on April 27, and is on display in the GLIDE Creative Space for six weeks.

What have you been working on at GLIDE?

At the Walk-In Center I provide basic services to clients who come in. A lot of them are coming in very fragile, so what we’re doing is providing basic needs such as hygiene kits, clothing vouchers – we’re more like front-line workers. I also do DMV vouchers if they’ve lost their ID or need ID. I help with housing and rental assistance, so if people are coming in looking for housing or want to get off the streets, I help them go through a housing listing and help them fill out applications. I’m an advocate and I also do case management, so I meet with clients one-on-one to help them with their personal skills and goals. We do motivational interviewing skills so we can help enable clients for positive growth. We’re helping to establish their strengths, so we take a strengths-based approach by asking them what do they need, and how can we help walk alongside them. I’m also helping to create a trauma informed care model – this is something that we want to do across the Community Building Division –  to help establish safety with the clients when they come in.

In the Women’s Center I work with clients who have experienced domestic violence, trauma, abuse, or are just looking for a place to go. Many of the women are homeless. I sit in with the groups, Tuesday – Friday, I also help with activities. One thing I came up with was to make a stress ball with balloons and play-doh, and then do an activity about ways to reduce stress. Many of the women that come into this environment are very stressed out, often times they don’t even know it because they’ve been stressed out their entire lives. Helping them identify where their stress is and how to work on that is really cool.

What have you learned from your time at GLIDE?

I think the major thing is loving people where they’re at, unconditionally. This was a very culturally shocking experience for me because I’ve never experienced homelessness the way I’ve seen it here. Learning about the population I’m working with has been a huge deal for me, because you want to know who you’re working with and why you’re working with them – if you have no basis or no experience of why you’re working with people, then it’s kind of pointless. So one of things that I’ve learned here is how to love people and how to meet people where they’re at.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process while I’ve been here through the people that I’m working with. I’ve gotten a lot of affirmation about my skills. I’ve had to wrestle a lot in terms of the different populations I’ve been working with, but overall learning about myself through the people I’m serving has been a huge part of my growth here.

Do you have a story or moment during your time at GLIDE that changed you?

I work with clients on a daily basis. A client came in and was looking for housing – I was tired that day, and I was helping the person, but my immediate thought was to make another appointment with them because I knew it was going to be too much work at the time. And in that moment, the client said to me ‘This is really urgent, I’m looking for housing, and I really need help.’ And I realized things that are not urgent for me are urgent for other people. It really helped me put a name and a face to a situation – because it’s easy to say that things are working, but if you’re not in the circumstance, if you’re not out in the street living day to day, you can easily become desensitized to what people are going through. It really challenged me to understand that sense of urgency. Because it’s easy for me to say, ‘I don’t need housing, I’m ok,’ but when you think about people who are going through these situations, it is important. So whenever I work with a client – if they need a DMV voucher, if they need housing, if they need shelter, I have in the back of my mind that I’m not working for me, I’m working for them. That has really motivated me to excel in my work, and why I do this work – it’s not necessarily for me, it’s to benefit other people.

Where are you going next?

I’m graduating! It’s a big deal because I’m a first generation college student. This summer I’m doing a program called the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute – it’s a foster youth internship program, an opportunity for former foster care youth to come to D.C. and work with Congress on legislation around issues of adoption and foster care. There’s no greater way than for people who have experienced it to have input, so there can be changes and reform to the system. So that’s what I’m doing next, and I’m hoping to come back to San Francisco because I really enjoy it here.

What’s your GLIDE Soundtrack?

‘Happy’ by Pharrell. That’s my song! I literally get up and dance every time it comes on in the Walk-In Center.



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In Memory of Lizzie Glide, A Church Honors Her Mission


ImageAs the lead pastor of one of the largest churches in The United Methodist Church, I am indebted to a woman who I never met: Elizabeth Snyder Glide. Lizzie, as she was known throughout her life, was born in Louisiana in 1852. During a family bible study, Lizzie had her own Aldersgate experience. Her father read Matthew 25:31-46 about the coming judgment and separation of sheep and goats, representing those who showed compassion to others and those who failed to do so. Lizzie, even though a child, was deeply moved by this passage and discussed it more deeply with her father. Her father told her that as long as she was a good girl and loved Christ, she would be assured a place in heaven. This was a defining moment upon which would direct her future path and actions.

The family moved to Sacramento, California in 1867 and joined the local Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Lizzie was an active member and Sunday School teacher. It was at this church that she met her future husband, Joseph Glide, who was a cattle baron.

In 1889 evangelist Sam P. Jones came to Sacramento. It was at a revival that Lizzie came forward to consecrate her life to Christian service. Even though she had come to live a life of ease in the Glide mansion, she soon established a mission for the most destitute in Sacramento, working there herself and often giving her own testimony of sanctification. She became well-known and well-loved among the poor, and a highly sought after speaker.

Lizzie’s mission work extended far beyond Sacramento. She began to live more simply so she would have more wealth to give away for mission work in other countries. She even asked her husband to stop buying expensive gifts on her birthday and other special occasions and give her money instead, so she could give more away.

When her husband died in 1909, Lizzie took over his business, quickly acquiring a business sense. She became a very respected business person in California. In the running of the family business, she continued to channel monies to the betterment of others through the work of the Church.

In the early part of the 20th century, San Francisco was a rough and dangerous place for women. One day, Lizzie stopped a woman on the street and asked her what she would do if she had a large sum of money to use to better others. The woman replied that she would build a safe home for working women. In 1914, Lizzie gave her first gift to San Francisco: The Mary Elizabeth Inn. For one hundred years, this United Methodist ministry continues to offer women a safe, affordable place to live in the City. When I was a candidate for campus minister at San Francisco State University, I stayed at Mary Elizabeth Inn for the duration of my interviews (Lizzie continued her commitment to women by building dormitories for women at UC Berkeley and Asbury College).


One day when she was praying in her room in Sacramento, she had a vision of a church is the heart of San Francisco. Even then, the number of unchurched people in San Francisco was quite high. She saw the city ripe for mission, and in 1929 began constructing a church at the corner of Taylor and Ellis. The cornerstone was laid in 1930 with the inscription:

A House of Prayer for All Peoples

Glide Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, South opened its door in 1931.

With Lizzie Glide’s firm foundation, the church has grown into her vision. Keeping with her commitment to reaching out to the poorest of the poor, today Glide serves nearly a million free meals, offers free health care, low-income and supportive housing, recovery services, child care and education, and continues to draw people from around the world for engaging and transformative worship. Lizzie’s encounter with scripture as a child is boldly lived out at Glide:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

Rev. Karen Oliveto, Pastor | Originally from Long Island, NY, Karen Oliveto has been a campus and parish minister in rural and urban settings in New York and California. She arrived in San Francisco in 1989, first as campus minister at San Francisco State University, and then, in 1992, as the pastor and leader of Bethany United Methodist Church in Noe Valley. While there, she expanded the congregation, and was instrumental in the effort to open the doors of the United Methodist Church to all persons, including gays and lesbians and their families. Oliveto holds a Ph.D. in Religion and Society from Drew University, and recently served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Pacific School of Religion where she continues as adjunct professor of United Methodist Studies. She is a member of the National Board of Directors for the Reconciling Ministries Network, a grassroots organization of congregations and communities committed to the full inclusion of GLBT persons in the life and ministries of The United Methodist Church and has served as chair of the board. Karen is the co-author of Talking about Homosexuality: A Congregational Resource (Pilgrim Press: 2005) and has written numerous articles, hymns and liturgies. She is an avid hiker and traveler, plays guitar and drums, and enjoys cooking for friends. Check out Karen’s blog.
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