On the first Wednesday of every month, the family law office of Phillips & Peters celebrates Women Crush Wednesday! These are not sponsored or paid posts – just women business owners we love to support that are crushing it in Hampton Roads.
Activist. Ecosystem Disruptor. Civic Agitator. Whatever you want to call her, Jackie Jackson Glass is using her gift of gab to ignite important conversations and action in Hampton Roads. She is the founder of Rubbish Media company, a podcast host, wife, mother, United State of Women Ambassador, educator, and so much more. “My whole life I’ve been told you talk too much and you don’t know how to mind your own business. And that’s all I do now. I talk too much and I never mind my own business but it’s for good reason” laughed Mrs. Glass.
Jackie moved to Norfolk, Virginia with her family after serving time in the Navy as a cryptologist. It’s hard to pinpoint where her heart for civic engagement and local activism began but she gives some credit to her upbringing. Originally from Chicago, her family moved around a lot to different neighborhoods where they were completely undervalued. “I have grown up believing that institutions are messed up and people can be crooked but there is far greater good than there is bad.” She experienced that good firsthand when individuals or groups would come together to support her family in times of need.
Early on Jackie learned the importance of community and support but it wouldn’t be until a little later in life that she learned the importance of speaking out. She recounts:
I was confronted with a situation where I could either speak out or not say anything at all. It was so much easier to not say anything at all, but I made the decision to speak out and I felt good. It was a moment where I had to make a choice and it took a lot of belief that I wasn’t going to lose everything but also organizing people to step up as well. That moment was my great awakening.
Now Jackie is trying to do the greatest good within voice and arm’s reach by encouraging civic participation in Norfolk. “I have this mindset now that I’m trying to change my world not THE world,” she said with a smile. Though even with a more focused vision and region she wears many hats to bring about change and spark civic engagement. She hosted a podcast about difficult conversations on race, organized dinners where people from diverse backgrounds can come together to talk about their experiences, handed action plans over to Norfolk’s city council and the mayor that ask for change. She even has a goal this year to get five women to commit to run in local elections within the next 5 years through her work with Vote Run Lead. Jackie Glass is busy but she’s everything you would want in a local mover and shaker. Her energy is infectious, her hope is contagious, yet her approach is empathetic and grateful.
I’m grateful that in this town, coming from a big city, I feel like I can do things here. In Chicago, you get swallowed up by the mass of people and places and things. When something happens in Virginia Beach or Norfolk it can ripple into all the other cities.
Jackie recognizes her privilege of being able to dedicate so much of her time to this work. “I always have that in mind” she explained, “When I’m asking people to do something with me, time is a tool, mental bandwidth is a tool. Everyone has something else going on. So, I try to be aware of that when I’m asking people to step up.” Even so, if people are unable to get involved, with Jackie Glass around they will at least be informed. That is the responsibility of civic leaders and activists. As Jackie says “it’s our responsibility to present the information so someone can make the choice whether they care or not”.
We love how Jackie Glass embodies the mission of Phillips & Peters. “Helping You Move Forward” is what we’re all about and we see that same spirit in Jackie’s work. So whether she’s working on policy, training up her little citizens, or speaking up at city council meetings you can expect Jackie Glass to be doing so with heart and for the sake of her community.