Joan Webster

Educator, mother, activist, founder of Clark University literary magazine

"And so there were several projects that I got involved with, in addition to teaching, but as part of the Massachusetts State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, I was one of the people who worked on the booklet for sexual harassment that was aimed at employers to let them know why they needed a policy and what sexual harassment was."


Joan Webster was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1932. From a very young age, Joan was drawn to political activism and awareness. In this interview, she focuses on her education as well as her continued involvement in many community and political activities. She discusses her experiences participating in extracurricular activities at Clark University, including theater productions and founding the campus literary arts magazine. Graduating from Clark in 1954, Joan explains how she sacrificed acting ambitions and put-off plans for a Masters in Social Work in order to get married and start a family. She speaks about her active support of the women’s movement, anti-war protests, and voter registration in the South. As a lifelong educator working at every level from preschool to adult higher education, Joan also addressed such issues in the classroom. In defining success in her own life, Joan reflects upon her ability to positively affect the lives of her children and students and leave a positive “footprint” on the world. She remains determined to be an active participant in her life and is currently involved in many organizations such as Assumption College’s WISE program and the Universal Unitarian Church. Throughout her life, she has striven to help others, and hopes to continue this feat in the future.

Interview Date: 
November 13, 2006
Interview Focus: