The Rev. Cecil Williams worked on a number of intersectional issues, including racial justice and coalition building work. In addition to creating space for community at Glide Church, Cecil actively participated in public advocacy to decrease discrimination and racialized policing of communities. Notably, in:
- 1985 – Cecil organized a community effort to speak out against anti-Semitic acts of violence.
- 1995 – Cecil was among the protesters arrested at UC Berkeley, with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, protesting a bill to end affirmative action in the university system.
- 1996 – Cecil gathered with 500 in Chinatown to protest immigration bill
- 1998 – President Clinton appointed Cecil to serve as 1 of 12 People on the U.S. Holocaust Commission.
- 2003 Cecil and Jan joined in protest against INS Special registration.
Multimedia highlighting Cecil’s work to ensure racial equality in San Francisco schools is featured below.
1965 – As chair of the Committee Against Segregated Education, Cecil threatens to boycott San Francisco schools to protest de facto segregation.
1968 – SF State Protest
During the Fall semester of 1968, the Black Student Union (BSU) at what was then called San Francisco State College presented a list of 10 “non-negotiable” demands to administrators, focusing on the creation of a black studies department and increasing black access to the university. College officials did not grant the demands. So the BSU, along with other student organizations and people of color organized as the Third World Liberation Front, launched what would become the longest campus strike in U.S. history.
1983 – Cecil was arrested for trying to stop school busses from carrying Bayview-Hunters Point students of Drew Elementary School, in a boycott against one-way busing.
1997 – Cecil, Jan, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and 10,000 protesters crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to protest Prop 209, an anti-affirmative action bill.
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.