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Professional life and education
She earned a bachelor's degree in Roman Catholic Theology from Quincy University in 1969 and a master's degree in ethics and religion from the University of Southern California in 1975. She taught high school for five years, but left in 1976 to open a women's bookstore in California called Magic Speller Bookstore.
She has also worked as a systems analyst, production tester, and project leader on Wall Street, as well as co-founding a specialized recruiting firm offering expertise in client/server architecture and graphical design. She also has her own blog.
Activism and writings
She marched and lectured on gender equality for seven years, at the end of which in 1982 she embarked on a fast in Springfield, Illinois with six other women to convince Illinois to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (it did not). For 37 days she lived on only water. In 2004 she published her memoir of this fast, titled The Hungry Heart: A Woman's Fast for Justice. She is a member of the ERA Roundtable, a lifelong member of the National Organization for Women and a member of the Veteran Feminists of America.
In 2003 she published The Passionate Heart, an account of her experiences with Buddhism. That same year, she also published Matri, Letters from the Mother which is "a small, very intimate collection of letters from the Divine Mother to the women of the world."
In 2010, during a stump speech by President Barack Obama for Senator Barbara Boxer, she was escorted from the event by Secret Service when she began "yelling" about issues of equality surrounding Don't Ask Don't Tell. The President, noticing the commotion, asked Nicholson "I’m sorry—do you want to come up here?"
She was also featured in the gay rights film March On, about the National Equality March 2009, which she participated in; the film premiered September 12, 2010 at the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival.
She is part of the Veteran Feminists of America, with a Special Portfolio for Facebook for them.
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