February 18, 2024

Breadcoin Team Remembers Malik Gliss

Breadcoin lost a team member last month to murder, a senseless, unexplained death.

Malik Gliss, 31, was a neighborhood captain for us, trusted with getting coins to those in need in his own neighborhood of Congress Heights. He had expressed feeling validated and confirmed in his purpose to give back to others because of being given this role on the Breadcoin team.

We operate hyper-locally through those who know the neighborhoods and their needs best. Malik knew the streets. After his best friend Darius was killed, Malik reflected, “I was 29 years old, and I was lost.” Malik got into trouble and served some time.

After release, he became part of Pathways, an intense life skills and job training program through the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement in DC.

Malik graduated from that program and was serving as a case manager for young people coming up behind him. Malik said, “I can now help people more than I can hurt people,” sharing that “I can say I love myself now.”


Through Pathways, Malik got to know Breadcoin board member, Julia Irving, who introduced this young, vibrant father of three to our team. Breadcoin co-founder Cary Umhau remembers a memorable meal with Malik, Julia, and another Pathways participant at a Breadcoin restaurant, Founding Farmers & Distillers: “Malik was so excited to try foods he’d not had before. We laughed hard over the things he didn’t like so much (some sort of green sauce on rice) and his insane appreciation of the chicken and waffles. His pride in his kids was palpable. He was hungry to impact the community for good. And he had so much curiosity.”

Malik said, “That’s the number one thing… love…. You gotta feel like the people around you want to see you win.”

“As a community, we’ve got to do better,” Malik’s mother, Sandra Gliss said in an interview on NBC Washington. She reflected, “I was just so proud of him, because he had his stuff together.”

Ms. Gliss has lost two children to gun violence in DC in eight years. We do need to do better, as a community.

Pastor William Spence, our DC Leader, said, “My first reaction to this news was, my God, why Malik????? Could more have been done? Did we, his neighbors, do all we should have to support our brother? … After sitting with this in meditation, my heart cry is ‘Lord, show us your truth and wisdom for this generation. Strengthen us to press forward and reach more of our brothers and sisters who want change.’”

To honor Malik, we will work even harder to see that every person we encounter knows the gift of a prepared meal, experiences belonging, and knows their importance. Malik mattered to our team and to this city, and Breadcoin is here for (and enhanced by) the “Maliks” of the world.