by Talilah Douglas, GLIDE Women’s Center, Domestic Violence Specialist
Get to know Talilah Douglas, GLIDE Women’s Center Domestic Violence Specialist. The Women’s Center is a domestic violence program with a unique approach to transforming lives providing holistic healing, addressing emotions, mind, body, spirit and relationships. Program services are designed to help women who face intimate partner violence and associated concerns such as co-dependence, substance abuse, mental health issues and homelessness. The Women’s Center aims to move survivors of violence from crisis to confidence, from hopelessness to long term change.
What was your first GLIDE experience?
I came here after working at the Homeless Children’s Network. The first impression I had of GLIDE was that it was an amazing place for women. I saw similarities rather than differences between myself and participants in the Women’s Circle. They embraced me and I embraced them. I saw myself as one of them, not as separate from them.
Which of GLIDE’s Core Values do you strongly identify with and why?
Truth-telling. There’s something unique about working at a place with values, a place that embodies its values rather than just writing them down and never looking at them again. For me, truth-telling is about finding my own journey and my own voice. I like that I’m able to tell the truth without being punished or reprimanded for it at GLIDE. There are lots of places that say they have a safe environment for people to tell the truth just because they think that they have to say that… At GLIDE, you can tell the truth, and the leaders of the organization embrace that value, especially Rita (Shimmin). Rita has always been someone I can tell the truth to, and I think it’s amazing that she is the kind of Co-Executive Director that you can have a personal relationship with and express your concerns to.
Founding President, Janice Mirikitani once said, “Our struggle has ensured our survival.” Share the lessons you have learned from personal struggles that created new possibilities for growth and freedom?
First I should say that I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. Each of us gets lessons that are not always pleasant, but that are designed to teach us something important. I have learned to embrace my own lessons—they are gifts given to me for a purpose and they have taught me how to support and help other people. It took time for me to not have a pity party with myself over the things that have happened in my life and it took time for me not to be in a beat-up place. But our trials and tribulations are not to break or destroy us, they make us stronger, better, wiser people. We can use the things that we have learned from our hardships to teach others.
What is your GLIDE soundtrack?
First would be “So Blessed” by Joe Scott. Second on the soundtrack is “Stand” by Donnie McClurkin. Last is a song we play in the Women’s Center, “Keep On” by D Train.
I like… beaches, music, nature, and good food.
I hope… for a more compassionate and conscious world.
I wish… that every child could grow up feeling so much love that as an adult they could never express hate.