Ph.D. Track: Equity and Workforce Development in HHC Equity and Communities Cohort

Desmond L. Kemp is a writer, activist, and accomplished educator. Inspired by the great Harry Belafonte and the late Dr. Maya Angelou (Marguerite A. Johnson), Desmond has navigated a career in various fields ranging from communications to social work.  Within this array of experiences, Desmond, a fourth-generation teacher, motivated to continue the educational legacy.

As a civics, college and job readiness instructor in Chicago, Kemp managed to collectively guide his students in achieving over $8 million dollars in scholarships. One of those under his guardianship, Derrius Quarles, Million Dollar Scholar. In 2013, after the death of Hadiya Pendleton, a former tutee, he organized the Turn Up for Life Campaign with the Sigma Beta Club of the Iota Nu Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.  Turn Up for Life is a platform for young African American males ages 8-18 to speak out against violence and social issues in America. TU4L campaign was named the best program in a Black Greek organization by the Chicago National Panhellenic Council in 2014 and 2016. Desmond was invited to join the teaching staff at CICS Ralph Ellison High School to teach and develop the inaugural curriculum for the civic leadership and college readiness courses, due to the success of this initiative.

At the height of violence against Black males and emerging issues in education, Desmond decided to further his education by studying the humanities and public administration.  Through his studies, Desmond hopes to identify solutions to help vulnerable populations navigate stratification by way of policy. Since beginning his journey to becoming Dr. Kemp, he has been named a recipient of the CIGNA Health National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) and Congressional Black Caucus Spouses scholarships. Most recently he was awarded a scholarship with the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy (CRISP) to serve as a CRISP Fellow at IUPUI. As a fellow with Health and Hospital Corporation through the American Studies program, Desmond will research the role of anchor institutions in the workforce ecosystem in Indianapolis.

Desmond served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He is a proud alumnus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. He completed his masters at DePaul University in the Master Applied Professional Studies with minor studies in Educating Adults. He is the author of the Uncommonly Common Teen Fiction Series. Desmond’s favorite hobby is working as a stand-in and featured model on some of your favorite television dramas.