Susan Jester

Empowerer
2021

Susan Jester’s professional career in politics and community activism began in 1978, working for several non-profit charities while working full time in banking. In 1983, Susan came out as an openly gay woman and quickly dove into current LGBT issues, becoming a well-known lesbian activist and speaking frequently with other LGBT leaders at press conferences and debates. When the AIDS epidemic struck the gay men’s community in the early 1980s, Jester used her organizing skills and political experience to raise public awareness, calm public fears, and raise critically needed money. She mobilized the LGBT community and numerous straight allies to produce the first AIDS Walk in San Diego in 1985. Jester led the statewide CA campaign against Prop 103 in 1988, a discriminatory AIDS CA ballot initiative, and coordinated with Gloria Johnson NOW’s Women’s March for Equal Justice. She currently serves on the Sheriff’s LGBT Advisory Council, AIDS Memorial Task Force, San Diego Citizens Equal Opportunity Commission, and as an appointee to the CA Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights Commission.

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