Only the wildest, most inaccurate terms could describe 2020 as “smooth,” or “friction-free.” So wouldn’t it be lovely to experience glide? Put that word in all capital letters and hundreds of people have and can find flow again on Nov. 19. The GLIDE Foundation that brings to mind the soul-healing African America spiritual, “There Is a Balm in Gilead,” delivers at no charge — year round and in its annual holiday jam — solace and celebration.
Despite compound traumas, the nationally recognized center for social justice based in San Francisco remains indomitable. This year, in addition to offering integrated comprehensive services and advocacy initiatives that benefit individuals, families, and children, there is GLIDE’s first ever virtual holiday jam, “Rise Up for Change.”
The virtual event showcases archival footage of the annual jam’s history woven into live-streamed performances from artists including India.Arie, Joan Baez, Lisa Fischer, Michael Franti, Goapele, Tom Johnston, Ledisi, D’Wayne Wiggins, GLIDE Church’s Marvin K. White and the GLIDE Ensemble, and The Change Band. The voice of the San Francisco Giants, Renel Brooks-Moon, returns as the evening’s vivacious emcee.
In a press release, GLIDE President and CEO Karen Hanrahan says, “We look forward to an evening of soulful music, powerful spoken word, and celebration to raise awareness of GLIDE’s life-saving work and leadership in fighting injustices.”
While the artists speak out for the voiceless in songs of protest and celebration, attention will likely turn to the dire challenges faced by San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. The GLIDE Foundation specializes in hands-on work to combat the difficulties: providing free meals (up to 15,000 a week), counseling (currently serving roughly 140 families), harm reduction programs and other services that include spiritual support for 4,000 community members from its home base at 330 Ellis Street and other locations across the city.
The jam allows people worldwide to join in the foundation’s cause. There is no streaming or ticketing fee, although GLIDE encourages viewers to consider a donation or become sponsors to help support the organization’s year-round services. Sponsors receive special access to a pre-event VIP Virtual Reception and hand-delivered Gala Kits (limited to the Bay Area) or mailed Gala Swag Bags. For a detailed description of sponsorship levels and benefits, visit the Rise Up website, call (415) 674-6145, or email [email protected].
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020; Pre-show with the GLIDE Ensemble and The Change Band at 6:45 p.m. (PST); Show begins at 7 p.m. (PST)