The Rev. Cecil Williams began building a relationship with the San Francisco Police Department in 1964. Throughout his time at Glide, he continued to advocate for reforms to help policing, locally and nationally, become more just and equitable. Some of the most memorable moments of Cecil and Glide’s law enforcement reform efforts are included below.
1965 The Council on Religion and the Homosexual Lobbies for a Civilian Police Review Board
1966 Citizens Alert
Vanguard Magazine 1:2 Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society
1967 Mayoral Candidates Forum Response to Huckleberry House Arrests
Glide was given a house by the city of San Francisco to begin caring for homeless youth who runaway or were thrownaway by their families. This house, called the Huckleberry House was an important turning point in homeless services in San Francisco, because at the time it was against the law to shelter minors. Despite working in cooperation with the city and the SFPD on plans to open the space, police raided the house anyway. The arrests dramatized some of the bias in San Francisco that Glide was lobbying to change. The article below records promises made by mayoral candidates about how they proposed solving the problems if they were elected.
Courtesy of the Glide Archive
1993 – Cecil organizes the 1st anniversary march protesting the verdict of the beating of Rodney King by the Los Angeles Police.
1995 – Cecil works to end SFPD violence after the death of Aaron Williams, including: 200 March, protests, protests after funeral
The Rev. Cecil Williams taught us to use our voice to radically welcome others. We continue to proclaim that radical welcome in all that we do! We celebrate the Rev. Cecil’s birthday throughout the month of September. If you would like to help us celebrate, please send a love offering in honor of his birthday. Your support helps us share unconditional love in the Tenderloin, in San Francisco and throughout the world. Contribute to our fundraiser in Honor of Cecil’s 94th Birthday here.