rose_kempBlack Woman Leaders – In Memory of Rose Kemp

For twenty-two years, Rose Kemp, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau, Region VII. For forty years she worked tirelessly on behalf of women and the Civil Rights Movement to promote equal housing, equal wages and equal opportunities for all women in Kansas City and the surrounding communities, including UMKC.

With more than 33 years in the U.S. Department of Labor, plus several years with the University of Missouri Extension Service and the U.S. Department of State, Rose witnessed more than her share of change.

Despite responsibilities over a four-state district and the demanding field of women’s employment, Rose always found time to provide volunteer leadership to a variety of organizations including: the Metropolitan Lutheran Ministry, the UMKC Women’s Council and CORO, an internship program for college students.

Rose was also at the forefront of international service. Through her affiliation with the Women’s Council, she served as a delegate during the Non-governmental Organization Forum and the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. Additionally, she was a member of the U.S. delegation of women chosen to join the first Vital Voices Conference in Vienna, Austria and was also a delegate at the Women’s Economic Summit in London. Rose provided assistance to the Moylinn House and the Women’s Employment Initiative in Northern Ireland.

Regionally, her services efforts were legendary. Rose served on numerous of boards and advisory councils for organizations throughout the region including: the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, Topeka, the Advisory Board, School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas, Lawrence and the board of directors of the National Youth Information Network (NYIN).

Throughout her career, Rose worked closely with the UMKC Women’s Center to provide programs to promote women’s quality of life. Prior to her death, Rose approached the Women’s Center with the idea for a Black Women’s Leadership Conference. Rose had a clear vision for this conference. She felt it was important to provide an opportunity for Black women to share their stories, successes and failures with one another.

It is because of Rose’s foresight, passion and vision that the inaugural Black Women Leaders Conference was held in 2006. In order to be more inclusive and reach more women in the Kansas City area, it was decided in the fall of 2010 to change the conference name to the Women of Color Leadership Conference.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is proud to support Rose’s passion and vision by hosting the Women of Color Leadership Conference.