City of Independence, Missouri

Susan Paxton Block Award given to Merideth Rose honoring work during COVID-19, efforts to make community more diverse

Merideth Rose has been recognized as the 2022 Susan Paxton Block Award recipient for her volunteer work leading emergency service efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic response for eastern Jackson County and as a member of the Human Relations Commission.

“Merideth is a tremendous example of the people in our community willing to help make things better for everyone,” Mayor Rory Rowland said. “Over the last few years, she’s helped coordinate volunteers for food distribution, mask donations, mental health outreach, and more. Her participation on as a member of the Human Relations Commission she has helped us embrace the diversity of our community and the many residents that call Independence home. She is a phenomenal example of the power volunteers have to help positively shape this community and we are truly thankful for all she’s done.”

The nomination received for this award listed the many ways Rose has worked for the community.

“Merideth was the lead volunteer for ESF-6 (Emergency Services Function 6 focusing on social services) support function during the COVID-19 response. She utilized her skills as a former disaster responder at FEMA to help coordinate Independence’s Mass Care response for COVID-19. She helped lead Mass Feeding, Social Services, and Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Because of her, Independence was lauding for having one of the strongest regional responses to the pandemic.  During the early days of the pandemic, she was coordinating the collective response from dozens of social service partners and school districts to make sure people were properly fed and could meet basic needs. She was also key in connecting hard-to-vaccinate populations with a COVID vaccine.”

Merideth has not only served on the Human Relations Commission but was also a member of Mayor Weir’s working group on diversity and inclusion.

Please join us in thanking Merideth for her contributions to our community and the countless volunteer hours she has given to make this community better.


Susan Paxton Block Award

The Susan Paxton Block award is presented annually to a City employee, volunteer, or elected official who has demonstrated outstanding public service, valor, and job performance with leadership. The award was presented at the September 20 City Council meeting.

The Junior Service League, of which Block was a second-generation member and served as president in 1989-1990, presents the award annually at the City Council meeting just prior to Block’s birthday, September 24.