Nancy Jo Kemper, 1967 B.D.

2010William Sloane Coffin '56 Award for Peace and Justice
Nancy Jo Kemper ’67 B.D. has recently retired as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Council of Churches, where she served from 1991-2009. She holds ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ and has served at least seven faith communities during her 40-plus years of ministry. Over the last 20 years, she has written and spoken to many different audiences about a vast array of issues confronting America, including: civic literacy; economic justice; living wages; universal healthcare; a more humane federal farm bill; environmental justice; child abuse prevention; equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities; the eradication of poverty; peacemaking efforts and nuclear disarmament; gun control; Medicaid protection and expansion: K-CHIP enrollment changes; low income housing; comprehensive and progressive tax reform; restorative justice; the rights of immigrants and undocumented workers; opposition to torture; the death penalty; predatory lending; racial profiling, and the genocide in Darfur. She is a registered lobbyist in the state of Kentucky and tirelessly bends the ears of politicians on behalf of the state’s poorest citizens and the environment. She modeled her ministry on that of her friend and colleague Bill Coffin, whose children she taught in Sunday School. A longtime social justice activist and lobbyist in the Bluegrass State, Kemper counted William Sloane Coffin Jr., after whom the Coffin award is named, as her friend and colleague.