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Call No.: Vt-140; DVD-8
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Kip Tiernan
Title: Video collection of Kip Tiernan, 1984-2006
Quantity: 29 videotapes
Quantity: 1 DVDs
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Recorded material includes televised and live appearances of Kip Tiernan promoting organizations and activities that aid the poor, homeless, and socially oppressed.
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Kip Tiernan, 1944-2008 (MC 639).
Founder of Rosie's Place, Boston Food Bank and the Poor People's United Fund, Kip Tiernan was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1926. She was raised by her grandmother, following the death of both her parents by age eleven. Her grandmother was instrumental in teaching Tiernan to care for the less fortunate and in bringing out Tiernan's artistic and musical talent. Raised as a Catholic, Tiernan attended several parochial schools as well as public and boarding schools, but never graduated. She took various college classes in retail management and music. At age twenty-one, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts. During the 1950s, Tiernan worked in public relations and advertising and was running her own public relations firm by the mid-1960s. In 1968, Tiernan left her public relations business to join the anti-war, civil rights, and anti-poverty work that centered around St. Philip's and Warwick House in Boston's South End. Responding to the growing number of homeless and poor women, she founded Rosie's Place in 1974, the first drop-in emergency shelter for women in the United States. In subsequent years, its focus shifted from simply providing shelter to providing the services needed to help women "dig themselves out of untenable situations." In 1979 Tiernan and Fran Froehlich created the Boston Food Pantry, which was later incorporated as the Boston Food Bank. The following year they founded the Poor People's United Fund (PPUF), which sought to provide financial and advocacy support to grassroots organizations in the greater Boston area. The Ethical Policy Project, an outgrowth of Tiernan's and Froehlich's work as fellows at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, was re-cast as the PPUF in 2002, with its mission to change the public policies that deny access to basic human services to all Massachusetts residents. Tiernan has also testified before the Massachusetts General Court (state legislature) and has received numerous honorary degrees and awards for aiding the poor and oppressed. As of 2010, Tiernan continues to write and lecture widely.
Collection includes public service announcements (PSAs), news reports, and promotional pieces about Rosie's Place; also included are several concerning the Poor People's United Fund, the Boston Food Bank and Ruah House, as well as television appearances and recorded lectures by Kip Tiernan.