Who is Jacqlyn “Jackie” Charles?
Throughout life, people experience different chapters at a time, but in the same book called life, people go through periods of feeling unworthy of love, forgiveness, or acceptance.
Jacqyln “Jackie” Charles is the host of “The Women Are Worthy Show” and “The Women Are Worthy” podcast,” which confronts critical life challenges that women face.
The show was created, Charles said, as a vehicle to effectively develop sisterhood by connecting women, bridging gaps, and creating the framework that will spark significant dialogue among women and between women.
On the show, she has conversations and interviews with both celebrities and everyday women.
Although the show is called “Women Are Worthy,” Charles said men are welcome to be a part of the movement and interview on her show as its purpose is also to remain inclusive.
The Journey of Becoming a “Worthy Woman”
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Charles’ mother was absent, so her father assumed both parental roles. He then later married his girlfriend, whom in Charles’ words, “was not an ideal stepmother.”
It became, Charles said, unbearable to the point where she eventually ran away from home. She ended up at her stepsister’s house, which quickly turned into another nightmare.
“My stepsister set me up for date rape where she tried to sell my virginity,” she said. “I escaped that situation and called the police via payphone. I told the operator on the phone and by the grace of goodness and mercy, she told me where to go.”
Charles had just enough money, garbage bags full of clothes, and took a cab to the Covenant House for homeless youths in New York.
Unfortunately, her stay was jeopardized since no one knew what was going on at school.
After missing several curfews and warnings (due to taking the train and partaking in after-school activities), the Covenant House wouldn’t allow her back in.
“If you were late back then, they’d give you a warning, but after so many times that you’re late, you can’t come in,” she said.
Rebuilding the Brand “Jackie Charles”
Due to what her stepsister tried to do, this caused Charles to cultivate resentment towards women. “I could not stand women because it was a woman who betrayed me and set me up to be date-raped and by the grace of God, which didn’t happen, but I did not want to work with women [again],” she said.
Her original goal was to choose an occupation where it was male dominated. “By me denying my sisters, I was denying myself, so I had a wake-up call. Charles realized a few important lessons: She is a nurturer and if she wants to have conversations about certain issues, she must experience them.
“You can’t just say, ‘Oh, I’m going to talk about relationships, and you’re not in a relationship or you’re in a fourth/fifth marriage’,” she said.
What she chose to do was to be the voice and the light.
“I can talk about relationships because I’m married. I can talk about sex-trafficking. It’s great we have people talking about it, but did you live it?” she said.
Women Are Worthy was cultivated through key life challenges women face on a day-to-day basis. In Charles’ words, the phrase “worthy” means to love yourself and love your tribe.
“Worthy is supporting other people, not just women and having a positive outlook on life. You can go through obstacles, like I have, but still have a positive outlook on life,” she said.
The topics she discusses are sex trafficking, relationships, plant-based eating, and women empowerment.
“I want to be a thought after speaker, I want to talk about those topics, so Tony Robbins, I’m coming for you,” she said.
Second Chances & Healing
Charles believes in second chances. “It was almost like I was following someone else’s footprints, like I was being guided, but it was a second chance,” she said.
When asked about how she applies second chances to her everyday life, Charles said she has hired people who have been to jail, for example.
“It isn’t my job to judge them. My job is to love people, no matter who you are,” she said. “The life that I led, a lot of people could have judged me, and I realized I had to step out and do something. This was my way of giving other women a second chance because some may think they don’t deserve it.”
Additionally, Charles wants people to know her past does not define her and although she was making impactful changes in her workplace, she wanted to make an impact elsewhere.
“I didn’t want to [just] have my birth date and my expiration date. I want people to talk about those dashes in between. I came from a big family of 8, I didn’t have anyone mentoring me because I was the last girl, so I got overlooked,” she said.
Charles began a new healing journey by starting her platform and telling her story, even though she didn’t want to.
“It’s not easy telling people that your own sister tried to sell your virginity,” she said. “As the Black community, we have so many secrets. Secrets will kill and we must start letting it out and loving people for who they are.”
Once she started talking about her life and past trauma, she said she felt less heavy.
The Importance of Mentoring
Charles said she is for the people and isn’t a “black or white” thinker and wants to provide resources to anyone who needs it if they have a positive mindset. She has begun mentoring young girls.
Charles said she realized it’s easier to mold their minds to ensure self-care than when they get older because most older people don’t invest in self-care.
With her mentees, she encouraged them to get their passports. “I had one last year who told me he went to Mexico and he’s traveling up a storm now. Let’s enjoy life,” she said.
Additionally, she wants to offer hope to the younger generation and show the older generation they are not lost.
“The younger generation are very intelligent and a good group of people, and that’s why I could learn from someone that’s younger. I can learn from you, and you can learn from me, it’s not a one-way street,” she said.
Furthermore, she wants to help communities, fulfill her dreams, travel, and more importantly support people who need support and sending resources.
“I cannot save the world, I can only save the people in my circle that I can influence,” she said.
Life Outside of WAW
When Charles isn’t working on her show, she is enjoying time with her husband.
“I have a great husband; I don’t know how he does it. We are Ricky and Lucy [from “I Love Lucy.”] I’m the one who comes up with these crazy ideas and he’s the one that says “Jackie”, where Ricky says “Lucy”.
Charles describes her husband as the “epitome of what a man should be.”
Also, she loves to cook, travel, read, and be in front of the camera.
In five years, Charles sees herself becoming a multi-media person where her show is doing well and covers lifestyles. “I’m a plant-based person, so I want to talk about plant-based feeding,” she said.
She has started her own plant-based cooking channel on YouTube (a part of the Women Are Worthy Network) called “Chopping It Up with Jackie.”
She also said she eventually wants to invite guests to cook, chat, and talk about relationship advice for both the Heterosexual and LGBTQ+ communities.
You Are Worthy
The biggest takeaway Charles wants her readers and listeners to understand is you are worthy.
“You need to love yourself before others can love you. You must teach people how to treat you,” she said. “Just because someone says they love you, what is their definition of love and what is your definition of love?”
Through trauma and loving herself, Charles understands every day won’t be a great day, however, she encourages everyone to wake up each day with a smile.
“Some days may not always be easy and it’s okay to have your moment, but don’t let it affect your entire day. Go through those emotions but know there is something higher for you,” she said.
Charles also challenges her audience to find their tribe and to ask for help no matter what.
“If you want to join our tribe, you must subscribe. When you ask for help, the resources are always there,” she said.