SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Janice Mirikitani, co-founder of San Francisco’s Glide Center for Social Justice, has died.

Glide confirmed Mirikitani’s passing in a statement, saying Mirikitani passed away with family and friends by her side.

Our hearts are full with both grief and the tremendous love that she embodied. Janice brought fierce courage and spirit to everything she did. She spoke her truth and inspired others to accept and celebrate themselves, each other, and all our differences.  

Janice co-created so much of the early vision and the roots of GLIDE’s impact. Her work touched many areas, both in the Church and on the street in the Tenderloin and in San Francisco. She took deep pride in serving the most marginalized communities, including support for women and children, education, recovery, primary and mental health care, job training, and housing.  

A memorial is being arranged. Updates regarding times and locations will be shared with you soon. Keeping with Janice’s wishes, a Memorial Fund has been established to support Women and Children’s programs at GLIDE.

Please know that our Co-Founder Rev. Cecil Williams is being held with love and support in this sensitive and difficult time. He and their family remain in our hearts.

While words cannot adequately express our sadness, we will honor Janice’s memory and her legacy by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work she loved so much. We will get through this together. 

Karen J. Hanrahan, President & CEO, Glide

Twitter also responded to the news of her passing, saying in part “Janice taught us all how to love unconditionally.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed referred to Mirikitani as “one of our City’s true lights.”

“Jan Mirikitani was one of our City’s true lights. She was a visionary, a revolutionary artist, and the very embodiment of San Francisco’s compassionate spirit. As a poet, including as Poet Laureate of this City from 2000 to 2002, she used the power of her words to further the fight for equality and to call for a more just and peaceful world. Through her work at Glide Memorial Church, along with her husband the Reverend Cecil Williams, she served our most vulnerable residents for decades and provided a place of refuge and love for all. She was boundless in her energy and in her devotion to this City and to her fellow San Franciscans. My heart goes out to her friends and family, especially to Cecil. She was loved and will never be forgotten.”

Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) called Mirikitani “one of the most exceptional human beings I’ve ever met.”

“I’m beyond heartbroken that our beloved Janice Mirikitani has passed. Jan was one of the most exceptional human beings I’ve ever met, combining strength and love like no one else. My condolences to the love of her life — Rev. Cecil Williams — to the entire Glide community, and to all of San Francisco. This is a huge loss for our community.”

Sup. Matt Haney also paid tribute to “the First Lady of the Tenderloin.”

We lost a legend today, the First Lady of the Tenderloin, a poet, someone who loved people, all people, and had endless compassion, grace, and vision. Rest in power, Dr. Janice Mirikitani. I grieve with the Glide community and the countless people whose lives she touched.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.