February 2008: After graduating from the University of Michigan in economics, Jennifer Frenzer-Knowlton spent three years on Wall Street. “I saw the avarice of capitalism,” she says, so she returned to her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, for a law degree. “I felt that a woman needed teeth in her credentials.” She also got married, and when her physician husband took a job on the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay, Washington, she was hired by the tribe. “I worked on economic development,” she says. “We built a marina for fishermen.” In 1997, after the birth of her son Benjamin, the family moved to Eugene, where daughter Olivia was born. As a stay-at-home mom, Frenzer-Knowlton worked with Betsy Steffensen to plan the Million Mom March against gun violence in 2000. Since 9/11, she has been active in the peace movement through the Eugene Friends Meeting. “Most of my activism has been faith-based,” she says. “I learned from the tribe that activism comes from cultural and spiritual roots.”
2015 update: Divorced in 2003, Frenzer-Knowlton started working at Community Mediation Services in 2008. “I helped launch their program for mediation in family issues,” she says. “After that, I began my own private practice in mediation.” In 2011, she organized peacekeeper training for Occupy Eugene. Since then she has focused on volunteer activism, serving on the Eugene Human Rights Commission and on the steering committee of the Nightingale Health Sanctuary. NHS operates two camps for the unhoused, including those with disabilities. Meanwhile, her son Benjamin is a freshman at UC Santa Cruz, and daughter Olivia is a sophomore at South Eugene High School.