KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – A committee of JuneteenthKC organizers, responsible for planning Kansas City’s largest Juneteenth celebration, have selected Kelly G. Loeb as Ms. Juneteenth 2021.
Loeb’s coworkers at Jewish Family Services nominated her for her kindness, grace and commitment to health equity advocacy.
“Kelly is an amazing colleague, advocate and social worker,” said Sarah Chao, JFS Russian-Speaking Care Manager. “She goes above and beyond to serve the community at large, specifically those in underserved and underrepresented communities.”
Loeb is an Older Adult Care Manager at JFS and spent much of the past year assisting clients with accessing Medicare during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She earned a place of honor in the JuneteenthKC Parade June 12, just days after Kansas City officially recognized June 19 as a holiday.
“It felt so affirming and so validating, especially after the year we have had, to see Kansas City rise up and say ‘this is important, not just for Black people but for all people.’” Loeb said.
Loeb’s great-grandmother was a civil rights activist in Louisiana, and Loeb said she’s proud to carry on the legacy of service her family has started.
“We’re coming to understand that everybody’s experience of being American is not the same,” she said. “I think we have a lot of pride about being American, but we also have a lot of work to do in terms of making America a place that everyone can be proud of and everyone can be celebrated.”
Her involvement in the Kansas City community factored in to receiving the award. Loeb is involved in philanthropic and service organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Upsilon Rho Omega Chapter, The Links, Inc., Greater Kansas City (MO) Chapter, Kansas City Association of Black Social Workers, and United Methodist Women.
Loeb will speak and host an information table at the Heritage Festival at 18th and Vine June 19.