Jester has been actively involved in LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activism since 1978, including being the founder of what is now AIDS Walk & Run San Diego.
Longtime San Diego LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activist Susan Jester was inducted into the San Diego County Women's Hall of Fame on Sunday. Jester received the honor along with 6 other local women during a virtual ceremony marking the organization's 20th annual ceremony.
Jester, who founded what is now known as AIDS Walk & Run San Diego, received her induction under the category of "Empowerer". The San Diego County Women's Hall of Fame shared the following information about Jester:
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.
The additional inductees for 2021 include: Rosalie Schwartz, Margaret Iwanaga Penrose, Genevieve Jones-Wright, Hon. Randa Trapp, and Niki de Saint Phalle. There are now 110 women who have been inducted into the San Diego County Women's Hall of Fame.