Our Fullest Human Potential

by Lillian Mark, Operations Manager, Community Building Division

A woman who came to GLIDE homeless two years ago now finds herself at GLIDE’s 149 Mason Street Apartments and holds a part-time job as a community advocate.  She recently shared her story and closed with “Jan and Cecil, thank you for believing in your dreams, so that my dreams can come true.”

Forty-nine years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stirred the nation with “I Have a Dream,” a deeply held belief and vision that embodied hope and equality for everyone.  As a woman of color, I am a beneficiary of the Civil Rights Movement; Dr. King believed in his dream, so that my dreams can come true.

When I arrived at GLIDE in 2004 as an Emerging Leader Epworth Intern, I wanted to inspire others to dream!  One afternoon at the Janice Mirikitani Family, Youth, and Childcare Center, a 4th grade student drew a portrait of an African American male in a suit and tie.  I asked him, “Who is that?”  He responded, “It’s my cousin.  He is going to be President of the United States someday.”  At 20, I knew that our country had never elected a President who was a person of color, and a part of me wanted to tell him that.  Although I uttered not a word, I believe my silence said much more.

I often recount this incident with regret and shame.  Rita Shimmin, GLIDE’s Co-Executive Director, says “we all bring our histories to this moment.” Our personal stories and experiences teach us what is possible, what is just, and what is important; it defines the parameters within which we must operate in order to remain safe and for the world around us to make sense.  In retrospect, I also shared this child’s dream growing up, but it was never encouraged.  As a result, it set limits on how much I dared to dream.  Through The Zone work at GLIDE, I have learned to support others in “breaking the cycles of poverty” by being aware of my own cycles of poverties; my poverty (my internalization of what I believe to be possible) took away from a child’s opportunity to dream BIG.  The Zone is a leadership training initiative that supports GLIDE staff to develop personal consciousness around our personal histories, values, and beliefs, and to become aware of how they influence our work–the decisions we make, our attitude, and our behaviors.  What The Zone demands of GLIDE staff is no different than what our community is searching for when they come to GLIDE–a place for healing and recovery.  We may call it different things, but in the end, we are simply looking for what Rev. Cecil Williams calls our “fullest human potential.”  And when each of us discovers it, we, together, can dream BIG dreams.

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One comment on “Our Fullest Human Potential
  1. […] more: Our Fullest Human Potential | GLIDE's Blog Tags: and-beliefs, around-our, become-aware, decisions, glide, influence-our, leadership-training, […]

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GLIDE Instagram
Join GLIDE at the SF @marchforourlives this Saturday to support young people in demanding #GunControlNow! We'll meet at GLIDE at noon and walk to Civic Center together. Where your GLIDE gear if you have it, and click the link in our profile to read more about why gun control is a priority advocacy issue at GLIDE.
#marchforourlives #parkland #enough #IWillMarch @momsdemand @bradybuzz @sfmagazine @sfchronicle @theonj3 @angelabrown17 @sf_interfaith Today, GLIDE Harm Reduction partnered with @sfaidsfound, SFDPH and SF Homeless Outreach Team to conduct a health care pop-up at a homeless encampment. It was a great community effort and the Harm Redux crew reports that the residents of the camp really appreciated that we were there for them. GLIDE provided HIV/Hep C Testing and counseling. In spite of the rain, 21 people used our testing services, and many more just came to us to talk about their drug use and receive harm reduction counseling.
We're grateful to this crew! Left to right: Paul Harkin, Amber Taylor, Bill Buehlman and Jason Norelli. #rainorshine #harmreduction #healthcareisahumanright #gettested #healthcareforall GLIDE Church invites you to stand up for smart, sensible gun control laws at the San Francisco March For Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24!
WHO: GLIDE Church. And YOU!
WHAT: SF March For Our Lives
WHERE: We will meet at GLIDE at noon and then walk over to Civic Center Plaza together as a group.
WHY: Our children should not have to live in fear of gun violence AT ALL, much less at school. Our teachers should not have to add "taking a bullet" to their job descriptions. We raise our voices in solidarity and demand a safer, more peaceful future for our children, our teachers and our country.
WHEN: Saturday, March 24. The rally starts at 1:00 pm, but we will meet at GLIDE at noon!
Additionally, we will make posters for the rally THIS SUNDAY on March 18 after the 11:00 am Celebration.
If you have any questions, please contact our beloved Rev. Angela Brown at abrown@glide.org
#ENOUGH #Guncontrol #gunsense #safeschools #parkland #columbine #LasVegas #marchforourlives  @womensmarch @womensmarchbayarea @momsdemand @gabbygiffords @100daysaction @bayresistance @glidefycc @kaye_foster @everytown On Wednesday, the children & teachers from GLIDE's Family, Youth & Childcare Center (FYCC) joined thousands of other students across the nation in the #NationalSchoolWalkout. Our FYCC teachers stress the importance of being community-minded thinkers and global citizens. Demanding #GunControlNow and safety in our schools is an important lesson for our kids, as well as a compassionate and powerful act of solidarity with the #Parklandhighschool students & all victims of school shootings.
Gun control is also a crucial advocacy issue for GLIDE — fighting for our children's education, well-being and their very lives is a direct application of our values and one of the most meaningful efforts to get involved in today.

Much love and support to FYCC and to all the young people across the country who raised their fists in defiance, resistance and mourning. We are with you.
@glidefycc @bayresistance @momsdemand @cityhallsf @100daysaction #keepchildrensafe #safeschools #banassaultweapons #forthekids #ENOUGH #rainorshine

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