Honoring Kip Tiernan's Legacy

Rosie’s Place’s founder, Kip Tiernan, was a relentless activist at the center of the fight for economic and social justice in Boston and the Commonwealth for decades. Beginning in the 1970s, she advocated, protested, and lobbied for civil rights, affordable and accessible housing, health care, education, jobs, and peace.

A woman of both words and actions, Kip never failed to speak out and stand up when she saw injustice,constantly challenging the status quo and institutions of power. And always, her efforts were rooted in love and compassion for all. She once wrote:

"We need to recreate a community worthy of us, a society in which it will be easier to remain human. We need to hold ourselves accountable for each and every one of us. Why? Because we care. Because it is our legacy." 


Every day at Rosie’s Place, Kip’s legacy lives on in all that we do. It’s the warm welcome our guests receive at our front door. The sanctuary and sustenance provided by our Overnight Shelter and Food Programs. It’s at the core of our Advocacy, Legal and Outreach programs giving women the expert help they need for as long as they need it. And Kip’s spirit resonates in our Women’s Education Center and Public Policy work as we help women to find and amplify their own voices.

We still miss Kip’s unmistakable laugh, which reminded us to celebrate the small joys and kindnesses each day holds. And today, as we mark what would have been her 94th birthday, we intend to do just that!

While the current health crisis means that we can’t host our traditional party when we serve Kip’s favorite meal of Southern BBQ and dance to a band playing the jazz music she loved—we know we that we can still come together, from a distance—as a community.

Below are some ways to commemorate and celebrate Kip’s extraordinary life:

  • Stock our food pantry by participating in a virtual food drive to supply our most needed pantry items.
  • Take action to help people experiencing homelessness find housing and to prevent homelessness in Massachusetts!
  • Honor Kip’s work with a gift to Rosie’s Place or dedicate it to someone in your life with a tribute donation in her name. A gift of $350 will underwrite the entire cost of prepared meals for one day.
  • Create art that spreads Kip’s message and share it with us and our community.
  • Find inspiration with a selection of Kip’s writings and this video.

We hope you will join us! Thank you for your friendship that allows us to carry on the important work that Kip started so many years ago.

In solidarity and celebration, 

Leemarie Mosca