Jacqueline St. Joan: Activist & Author
Prepare to be completely inspired and taken with this episode's guest, Jacqueline St. Joan. Jackie was born with a keen awareness of the injustices of the world around her and rather than be complacent or apathetic, she has chosen to be a continuous driver of change. As a dedicated co-parent, a strong member of the Denver feminist community, an attorney then judge and as a successful writer Jackie has found a way to bring awareness and a plan to the issues she tackles from those in her own neighborhood to Pakistan.
WD: Is your personal life currently changing? If so, how?
JSJ: I am entering old age as my oldest grandchild goes off to college, my son is turning
fifty and my daughter has her 25 th high school reunion. Many friends are beginning
to suffer physical and mental decline. Legacy, the body and the spirit become
WD: Is that what you thought you would be doing?
JSJ: At what point? I always thought I’d be a mother but I planned to wait until I was older.
When I was 20, I thought I’d be a foreign service officer. When I was twenty five, I
thought I’d be a clinical psychologist. When I was thirty I thought I’d be a lawyer.
WD: If not, what altered your path?
JSJ: Opposition to the war in Vietnam altered my path to the State Dept. Following my
husband’s career, which limited where I could attend school altered my path to becoming
a clinical psychologist. Working as a legal secretary in a small storefront office in Five
Points showed me what lawyers do and that directed me to law school.
WD: What is your biggest source of stress?
JSJ: My life is easy compared to most, was much more stressful when I was a single mom,
when I was financially broke, when I was suffering the abandonment by my parents.
WD: Was there a defining moment that set you on your current path? What?
JSJ: I grew up in northern Virginia, the Washington DC area, very much the South in some
ways. Racial segregation was an unacknowledged part of daily life, and with the
unflinching, curious eyes of a child, I saw it, did not understand it, but I knew it was wrong.
I was raised in Catholic church and schools and I took religion and the teachings of love
thy neighbor seriously.
WD: Who are the women who are most inspiring to you?
JSJ: Today all I can think of is Aretha Franklin, but I’d also have to say I find inspiration in
seeing the work of so many women activists who are trying to make this a better
world—especially the mothers who have so little time for themselves as it is, but who
endure the struggle and tension of trying to nurture themselves, their families, and the
WD: Who were your female role models growing up?
JSJ: Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Annie Oakley, and various saints, women who were
willing to sacrifice themselves and sometimes their lives for a higher ideal
Visit this site to learn more about Jackie's work with Rename Stapleton for All
Information about Jackie's work can be found on her site,
Photo Credit: Peter Bryson, Nooknose Studios