Rose Mayes with the Fair Housing Council

The 21st century is a century that has seen gradual and transformational changes and what we are seeing today is women rising to positions of power, not just in the United States, but also all over the world. Research has shown that women tend to have a distinct leadership style compared to men, a style that shape how they run activities and their teams. Women are more inclined to transformational leadership style which aims to enhance the motivation, morale, and performance of the followers by working with teams to identify the needed change, to create a shared vision and guide through inspiration.

I love working with women, and I think that today’s environment is enabling women to constantly evolve to reach new milestones across various levels. The world has witnessed and experienced the advent of women leaders such as Hillary Clinton, Indra Nooyi, Oprah Winfrey, Maxine Waters, Theresa May and for the highlight of this issue’s cover story, we will be focusing on one revolutionary woman; Rose Mayes.

I have known Rose personally and professionally and we happen to be sharing a table at the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County. Rose is a powerful woman who is not afraid to take any risk and she has a resilient to fight for what she believes in. Being a female leader in an almost male-dominated world, she has proved to be confident to deal with every obstacle thrown at her.

Rose attended Houston, Texas Community College and before coming to California to work for the Wall Street Journal, she owned three record stores. She was very hardworking and worked her way up from part-time clerk to assistance circulation manager.

In the early 1990s, Mayes returned to Riverside and while there, she received honorary awards by many groups. She received the ATHENA of the Inland Valleys award for community service and her efforts to mentor other women. While still working, in her spare time she earned a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s in Management and Business Education.

More than five decades ago, Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Federal Fair Housing Act, which in a very diverse way outlawed racial discrimination in housing. The Act represented a major advance for human freedom and racial justice, something that Rose has given her life for. She serves as Executive Director of the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, Inc., a position she has held since 1993. She is committed to promoting fair housing opportunities for all regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.

The Fair Housing Council of Riverside County is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to protecting the housing rights of all the individuals. The organization is recognized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and works with the government to ensure Fair Housing laws are upheld. Since its commencement, the council has strived to ensure that all the individuals live free from unlawful practices and discrimination.

Despite leading in reforms that constitute to Fair Housing, Rose is a co-founder and a past president of the Riverside African American History Society, a guiding force behind the civil rights institute of Inland Southern California, which she serves as the board vice president. One of the greatest achievements is the commissioning for the construction of the Mission Heritage Plaza which includes low-income apartments along with community meeting space for the Fair Housing Council and Civil Rights Institute headquarters.

Ms. Mayes has also served as the President of the Riverside East Rotary Club and a member of Toastmasters club 797. She was also a very active member and an influential person with the Riverside Mahatma Gandhi Peace Foundation. A foundation that spearheaded the erection of the statue for Mahatma Gandhi located at the Mission Inn and the Mall.

In 2015, Rose was honored at the state Capitol as the 61st Assembly District’s 2015 Woman of the Year. The State Assemblyman Jose Medina chose Mayes in recognition of her community service and outreach. Medina in a statement said that Mayes had been a “powerful driving force for change” and an advocate for fairness in Inland Southern California. Mayes was among the 80 women, one in each district feted at a reception on the north steps of the Capitol in downtown Sacramento.

Governor Schwarzenegger also appointed her to the State Fair Employment and Housing Commission. She was also, to a great extent, responsible for the statue of Dr. Martin Luther King on Ninth Street by City Hall. She had the vision of an MLK statue there as a symbol of “justice for all.” The Bank of America recognized Mayes for her efforts and awarded her The 2008 Neighborhood Builder Award for her leadership ability and the unblemished integrity in carrying out the mission of Fair Housing Council.

She was also named the 2010 citizen of the year and was elected and sworn in as a member of the Chamber Board of Directors. To meet this new challenge Mayes, “I want to thank the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, Citizen of the Year Committee for nominating me to join your committee. I’m touched and grateful for the trust you placed in me. I stand ready to serve.”

Women in leadership is something that I still think has not been fully accepted and often, they always face some degree of struggle to really claim their worth, given this reality, most women shy away from opportunities and conversations that allow them to access the resources that would propel them forward. Rose being a woman, she has really perfected the art of ask and with that, she has managed to get what she wants and often, what she wants has really been for the good of the people in her community.


Board of Directors | Civil Rights Institute Inland Southern California. (2012). Retrieved July 30, 2019, from website:
Brown-Hinds, P. (2010, April 8). Rose Mayes – 2010 Citizen of the Year | Black Voice News. Retrieved July 30, 2019, from Black Voice News website:
Darla Martin Tucker. (2018, June 18). Riverside activist, space institute president among graduation awardees. Retrieved July 30, 2019, from La Sierra University website:
Hurt, S. (2015, March 10). RIVERSIDE: Activist Rose Mayes feted at state Capitol. Retrieved July 30, 2019, from Press Enterprise website:
Mayes, R. (2016, October 4). Assemblymember Medina Honors Rose Mayes as 2015 Woman of the Year. Retrieved July 30, 2019, from Official Website – Assemblymember Jose Medina Representing the 61st California Assembly District website:
Reviving the Fair Housing Act at 50. (2018). Reviving the Fair Housing Act at 50. Retrieved July 30, 2019, from The American Prospect website:
Rose Mayes Honored as Woman of the Year. (2016, December 16). Retrieved July 30, 2019, from GOLDEN STATE NEWS website:


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