-Our Team-
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aboutus

Our Mission:

 

The goal of Black Lives Matter Springfield is to nurture, protect, and empower the Black community.

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Our

Team

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Khoran Readus is a lifelong resident of Springfield, Illinois and has a Master's Degree in Social Work specializing in Leadership and Social Change from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She played an integral role in the Domestic Violence Division at the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office for over fifteen years. The majority of her tenure she supported and championed the rights of victims of violent crimes, as well as trained incoming domestic violence attorneys on criminal court processes while providing them with insight and guidance when working with community members who fall under historically marginalized populations and lower socioeconomic classes.

 

Readus’s job responsibilities at the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office ultimately gave her first-hand knowledge of how and why racial disparities transpire within the criminal justice system and is greatly responsible for her profound passion in the fight for criminal justice reform.

 

In 2016, Readus became the co-founder of Black Lives Matter-Springfield and has been active in engaging with Springfield’s Black community, becoming both a voice and protector of the unheard community. Readus is also the founder of the Brown Bag 217- Summer Food Program, created in 2016. The brown bag program collects breakfast and lunch food items from donors and delivers them directly to the homes of families with children in Springfield, IL during the summer months. Readus is very active in her community, wears many hats, and loves recruiting the assistance of her fellow community members to help those in need.

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Sunshine Clemons is a lifelong community advocate, who has spent most of her life in Springfield, since moving from East St. Louis at an early age.

 

Sunshine co-founded the local Black Lives Matter SPI chapter in Springfield galvanized by the  hurt and anger that the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile incited. These tragic events inspired a rally. That rally eventually led to the creation of the local chapter, with the goal of making a concentrated effort here in Springfield to implement changes to local law enforcement, the community at-large, and the day to day lives of Black people in the city of Springfield.

 

Sunshine's main objective is to help create a better relationship between the local community and those who are supposed to support them. Whether it be law enforcement, the judicial system, elected officials, business owners, or the everyday citizens who can help implement real and lasting change.

 

Sunshine is also a founding member of Springfield Call to Action, a coalition of organizations committed to justice, including racial, religious, gender, economic, social, & environmental.

 

Black Lives Matter SPI co-led by Sunshine, received the Humanitarian Service Award from The Greater Springfield Interfaith Association and won the readers poll category of “Best Affirmation that Black Lives Matter” from the Illinois Times, both in 2020.

Sunshine was a 2021 Black History Month Honoree recognized by Comptroller Susana Mendoza and was awarded the 2022 Bridge Builder Award from CORAL for her work to build bridges and support the LGBTQIA+ community.

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Anna Schneider was born in the rural town of Quincy, Illinois and has a Master’s Degree in Social Work specializing in Leadership and Social Change from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 

 

From 2008 – 2019, Anna lived in Springfield, Illinois where she developed expertise in advocacy and public policy specifically in the areas of education, youth development, and behavioral healthcare. She led a communication’s campaign at Advance Illinois for equitable school funding for Illinois’ public schools and executed a 5-year fundraising plan to expand programming at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois.

 

She currently works in public policy and Medicaid managed-care at the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois where she advocates for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. Anna continues to dedicate her life to elevate the experiences of Black and Brown people as well as to advance equitable resources and opportunities for Black and Brown communities throughout Illinois.

 

She currently resides in Chicago with her daughter, where she enjoys weightlifting, playing piano and learning Spanish.

Kevin Lindsay has lived in the Springfield area since 2010, where he and his wife of 16 years attended University of IL (UIS). He received his Bachelors Degree in Sociology/Anthropology while studying Race, Class and Gender. He also earned his Master’s Degree in Human Services with a concentration in Social Service Administration at UIS.

 

Kevin is a lifelong man of service. This is evident in his membership in Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc where one of their core values is service. Kevin also spends his free time mentoring young black males in his fraternities mentoring group, Sigma Beta Club. They teach and reinforce ethics and moral responsibility to the young men in the group. He believes in being a service to others as he was a basketball coach to at-risk Springfield community youth for five years. Kevin enjoys mentoring young people; in particular young black men that their lives really do matter. You can sometimes find him volunteering at the St. John’s Breadline serving and feeding the homeless.

 

Kevin currently works for Illinois Department of Human Services, where he is a Social Service Program Planner. He started his tenure in state government at the Family Community Resource Center where he loved helping families in need to get resources and the assistance they may need.

 

Kevin believes in the mission of Black Lives Matters Springfield and he is happy to be joining the Board of Directors. He plans to help in any way possible to create positive change in places where a disproportionate number of people are underserved. Martin Luther King Jr once said that “injustice anywhere is a treat to justice everywhere.” This is his life’s mantra.

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Elizabeth Scrafford is originally from North Idaho and works at the Sierra Club managing community organizers in the Midwest. Prior to settling in Springfield, she has lived in Kumming, China; Anchorage, Alaska; and in Chicago where she graduated from DePaul University, double majoring in Religious & Cultural Studies and Peace, Justice, & Conflict Resolution. Elizabeth is active in many local community organizations including the Springfield Immigrant Advocacy Network.  

Tiffani Saunders joined Memorial Health as Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant in July 2021. Prior to that, she was lecturer of Sociology and African American Studies at University of Illinois Springfield for 10 years. There, she was a leading voice for DEI considerations in teaching and faculty recruitment; she also co-chaired the Chancellor's Anti-Racism and Social Justice Task Force. Tiffani is an avid volunteer, giving her time and expertise to organizations, boards, panels, and workshops. She is committed to making the world around her more equal, more just, and more accessible. Her career and volunteering work toward that goal.