On February 10, 2015, San Francisco’s friends, family, and local leaders came together at Le Colonial to celebrate the life and achievements of Janice Mirikitani. Janice serves as a role model and a guiding light in the impoverished neighborhood of the Tenderloin. The night was filled with poetry, dancing, and laughter as Janice was showered with words of endearment.
Mirikitani grew up in California during WWII, when her family was forced into a Japanese encampment in Arkansas. Post war, Janice moved across the nation until she ended up in San Francisco in the 60’s, which marked the beginning of a revolution of love at GLIDE. Along with her husband Reverend Cecil Williams, Janice has been producing historical changes globally and locally as the founding president of Glide Foundation. At Glide, she helped form many programs to assist the homeless, women, and victims of sexual abuse.
Along with her Bachelors of Arts from UCLA, she received two honorary doctorate degrees, as well as a teaching credential from UC Berkeley. Having dealt with extremely difficult and troubling experiences, Janice was able to craft her hardships into a creative form of solidarity. As an advocate she became a consolable voice that spoke to a range of people, with a particular focus on the issues regarding war, poverty, and racism.
As philanthropist and visionary she has received countless rewards and honors. With a uniquely creative mind, she served as the San Francisco Art Commission since 1996 and has been honored as the second poet laureate of San Francisco in 2000.
GLIDE’s mission is to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. Glide focuses on wellness, spirit, leadership, and growth, all with a foundation of unconditional love.