Cecilia Ruth Weeks
I have learned so much from God
that I can no longer call myself Christian,
Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew.
The truth has shared so much of itself
That I can no longer call myself
Man, woman, angel, or even pure soul.
Love has befriended me so completely
It has turned to ash and freed me
Of every concept and image
Our minds have ever known.
Cecilia Ruth Weeks was born
in Palmer, Alaska on July 27, 1955 and lived in Missouri, Minnesota and
Wisconsin before coming to Berkeley at the age of 19. She graduated from
Antioch University west with a B.A. in Public Administration in 1978 and
an M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 1981. She also received an A.A. in Fine
Arts at New College of California in 1986. She was currently working on
her TEFL Certification from UCLA’s extension program.
A great soul and pioneer, CeCe
was a trailblazer and a dragon slayer in the arena of Disability Rights,
refusing to be defined and detained by her own disability. In 1976 she
was one of the occupiers of the Federal Building in San Francisco. She
coordinated the media center in the struggle to get the Secretary of H.E.W.
to sign into law Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. This successful
action established Civil Rights for disabled people nationwide.
CeCe organized, wrote grant
proposals, lobbied, and established the Emergency Services Program, now
known as Easy Does It. She was the Executive Director of EDI from 1995-1998.
She also organized the Social Service Advocacy Program at the Center for
Independent Living in Berkeley.
For the past 20 years, she
was a tireless organizer and fundraiser for the Big Mountain Support Group
and the International Indian Treaty Council in their efforts to help the
traditional Dine (Navajo) people remain on their land and keep sacred their
spiritual way of life.
As an anti-racist organizer,
CeCe helped establish the People’s Institute West as a viable west-coast
presence. She participated in many of their Undoing Racism Workshops. She
also fought for Women’s Rights, Prisoners’ Rights, Gay Rights, and in other
civil rights struggles. She refused to surrender to the social, physical,
and psychological barriers she encountered. With dignity in the face of
prejudice, her course of action was always to organize and proceed onward
at full speed.
actions, organizing and fundraising, she affected and will continue to
affect countless lives. CeCe was an educator, record producer, entrepreneur,
artist, singer, writer, political and social organizer, activist, counselor,
therapist, poet, world traveler, spiritual seeker …the list and legacy
It is easy to point to the
tangible accomplishments in the life of Cecilia Weeks for she leaves this
world with the stamp of her demand for freedom and rights in history. What
is more difficult to hold is the astounding generosity, beauty, and truth
that CeCe continues to spread through the hearts, minds and spirits of
those who remain.
In her own words, she said,
"I must love who I am and be who I love. That is my self, my heart, my
true path." Godspeed, Cecilia Weeks, and may our prayers help you on your
editor’s note: In the midst of all her work,
CeCe was a regular supporter of Ecumenical Peace Institute. When she received
an issue of Planted she always sent back the envelope with a contribution.
We were blessed by her constancy.