Celebrating the life of legendary community organizer Regina Douglas

 

Regina Douglas was born Feb. 15, 1948, in San Francisco, the only child of George and Cecelia (Pitts) Douglas. Along with her parents, her grandson, Enmann G. Huff, preceded her in death.

Regina Douglas
Regina Douglas

She accepted the Lord at an early age, and was baptized at the St. James Baptist Church, under the leadership of the late Rev. Archie J. White. Regina attended public schools in San Francisco, including Burnett Elementary, Pelton Junior High and Lowell High Schools. She also attended City College of San Francisco. She played the piano for many years.

She married the late Leo Glover in 1968 and the following year, twin daughters were born: Cecelia and Cynthia. Shortly thereafter, the family followed the Army and moved to Anchorage, Alaska. Regina remained in the Anchorage area and worked for British Petroleum-Alaska in the accounting department. Her love for community service and activism was born, and she worked with many charitable organizations in Anchorage.

Regina joined her family in San Francisco in 1987 and reunited with the St. James Church under the leadership of Dr. Michael S. Williams. She served her church in different capacities, including the Mission/Women’s Department, Sunday School and Trustee Board.

She was an active participant in her community, and served as a fierce advocate for social change and justice. She passionately championed causes for the elderly as well as for the youth of the Bayview Hunters Point community through a number of organizations.

Even as her health deteriorated, she continued to stay active within her beloved community. She loved to socialize and spend time with friends. She met no strangers – only future friends. She loved life – and determined to live it on her own terms.

She was an active participant in her community, and served as a fierce advocate for social change and justice.

Early in the morning on Oct. 27, 2015, Regina heard the call of the Master and peacefully slipped away to eternal rest. Along with her Armstrong Place family, she leaves to cherish her memory her two daughters: Cecelia Taylor (Robert Sr.), Cynthia Glover (Navonna); her grandchildren: Elycia Gamble, Kierra Lynne Glover, Aaliyah Wylie, Robert Taylor Jr., Rayna Adele Taylor, Arlinda Huff; great-grandson Marcus Anthony Huff, along with a host of cousins, relatives and dear friends.

A young Regina Douglas
A young Regina Douglas

St. James Baptist Church was filled with Regina’s family, friends and fellow activists for her homegoing celebration on Nov. 6. Alicia Garza and Jaron Browne told of Regina’s profound influence on the organization POWER. It was Regina who suggested they open an office in Bayview Hunters Point, and it was Regina who was chosen to be the director of the Bayview project.

Years earlier in Anchorage, Regina had worked together with Mary Ratcliff, now the Bay View’s editor, under the leadership of their pastor, Rev. Alonzo Patterson, who had been appointed by the governor to head the Alaska State Martin Luther King Holiday Committee. Their assignment was to organize the first Martin Luther King holiday commemoration, held Jan. 13-20, 1986.

Events were organized in several cities, with the main commemoration planned for Anchorage. As they sought the best venue, Mary questioned whether the convention center wasn’t too large as she and Regina deliberated. “It holds 5,000 people,” Mary exclaimed. Regina responded with assurance: “We’ll fill it up,” she said. On the appointed day, the center was filled to capacity, and the total attendance across the state was 8,000 people on that first Martin Luther King Commemorative Celebration in Alaska.

St. James Baptist Church was filled with Regina’s family, friends and fellow activists for her homegoing celebration on Nov. 6.

Many such stories of Regina’s extraordinary talent at bringing people together were told at her St. James homegoing. Regina Douglas was indeed a legendary organizer.