Boa Me Na Me Mmoa Wo | “Help Me and Let Me Help You”
Regina Mason, is a lifelong resident of Seaside, born on the former Fort Ord, California. She matriculated through locals schools and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Child Welfare from San Jose University and an under graduate degree in Business Management from St. Mary’s State College. In 2016 she retired from a career in the field of Child Welfare, an intense and often time stressful and demanding job, but one that fit her desire and dedication to making life better for the children and families in her community. Regina recently opened her own consulting firm, Jabari and Associates, providing program development, grant writing and mentorship among other services.
Regina lives by the philosophy of giving back to one’s community as a means of paying debt we all have for occupying space on earth. She has spent much of her adult life working individually with people and collectively with organizations to address and resolve the sometimes monumental issues confronting people in her community and beyond. She has worked with the Monterey County Branch of the NAACP for over 25 years, 12 of which as Advisor for the NAACP Youth Council, is but one demonstration of her commitment to bettering the lives of people in her community, especially our youth. She is the Co-Founder of the annual NAACP Youth Summits now going into its 24th year. Regina also serves as the NAACP Back-To-School/Stay-In-School coordinator. For over fifteen years, Regina served as an educational advocate for parents and children who attend schools in local school districts. She assists parents in educating themselves about their and their children’s rights to a fair and appropriate public education, attends parent-teacher meetings and meetings where Individualized Education Plans are being discussed and developed for children in special education programs. She is often the “go to person” when it comes to issues involving young people and their parents in our community.
For over 10 years she served as the local NAACP branch’s chief fund raiser serving as Chair of its Life Membership/Freedom Fund Banquet. Regina chaired the highly successful 2012 Life Membership Banquet that celebrated the 80th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP in Monterey County. Over 400 people attended the affair that featured the Peninsula’s own Benjamin Todd Jealous, former National NAACP President/CEO. In March, 2013, Regina was able to secure Civil Rights Legend Julian Bond to be the keynote speaker. She has served as the Branch Secretary and Chair of its membership committee. During a two year span as membership chair, over 150 people joined the local NAACP branch.
In 2008, following the passage of the landmark California Mental Health Services Act, Regina seized the opportunity presented by this act to co-found The Village Project, Inc., an African American-focused Family Resource Center that provides a myriad of services to African American and other historically underserved groups of people to include mental health counseling for children, families and adults; psycho-educational groups for boys and girls; an emergency fund for community members experiencing crises; an acclaimed Mae C. Johnson afterschool academy that, for the past six school years, has been successfully working with students of promise from local school districts; an internship training program for students and those wishing to become psychotherapists; and cultural competency trainings, to name a few. Regina was asked to be a panelist speaking on the subject of “Home Grown Ethnic –Based Agencies in Community Mental Health” at the annual American Public Health Association’s convention in San Francisco, California in October 2010.
Regina was awarded the 2013 Jefferson Award and selected to represent the Central Coast in Washington, DC; Outstanding Woman of the Year Award by the Monterey County Commission on the Status of Women. She served as member of that Commission for a number of years afterward; was presented the 27th Assembly District’s Woman of the Year Award by then Assemblyman Bill Monning’s office; the Youth Honoring Youth Award from CPY; the 2015 Community Service Award from Leadership Monterey Peninsula, among others. Regina has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Seaside/Sand City Chamber of Commerce and was a founding member of the UC Merced Parent’s Advisory Council. Regina is a mother, aunt, sister and mentor to young women and girls and is married to the love of her life, Mel Mason. Regina is a child of god and worships at Friendship Baptist Church in Seaside, CA.