About US

Board of Directors

Nell Clay, President
Minnie Gillespie, Treasurer
Elizabeth Alexander, Recording Secretary, Volunteer Committee Chair
Sue Massie,
1st Vice-President, Membership Committee Chair, Newsletter Chair

Archie Lawrence,
2nd Vice-President
Douglas King,
3rd Vice-President, Marketing Committee Chair

Elizabeth Buchta
Carolyn Farrar, Chair of the Program Committee
Jim Lewis, Chair of the Marketing/Public Relations Committee
Kathryn Harris, Exhibit Committee Chair
Ocheng Jany, Gala Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Ann Joseph
Ernestine Lawrence, Gala Co-Chair
Aaron Pearl-Cropp
Gail Simpson
Douglas Yul Holt

Our Mission

We will tell authentic stories about African-American life in Central Illinois, past and present, celebrating and sharing our history and culture and planning for our future.

We will do this through scholarship, oral histories, exhibits, partnerships, our board, our supporters and our friends. We are and will be community builders.

We recognize that our stories are at once unique but connected to those of other communities and we will support those interconnections. We will be integral to the cultural life of our area. We will partner with like-minded organizations. We will be proactive in our community. We will study and apply best-practices in business, scholarship and communication.

Our Vision
In the next three years we will build an outstanding reputation through astute programming and strategic partnerships.

  • We will build public awareness.
  • We will secure a new and convenient location in a Springfield tourist-developed area to include office space, space for gatherings, meetings and the housing and care of our growing collections.We understand that a strategic plan is a process (a working document, often called a green planning process). We will review the plan on a regular basis. Therefore our board will schedule reviews periodically and as needed.
    Within three years we will organize a fund raising drive to secure permanent museum space to accommodate future programs, exhibits and outreach to our communities.
  • We will be creative and innovative.
  • We will create programs with our audiences, build those audiences and position ourselves for a successful capital campaign.
  • We will strengthen our board to assure we have the expertise in place to achieve our mission and vision.
  • We will be the preeminent African American museum in Central Illinois, the 'must visit' museum for tourist and residents.

Our Values

We believe in:

  • Accuracy and honesty through scholarship and honoring multiple viewpoints
  • Education and the bridging of cultural, racial and ethnic harmony
  • The power of accurate story telling
  • Unbiased research which is substantive and timely

Museum Coordinator

Kevia Maloney

Kevia Malony

We are so happy to have Kevia as our Museum Coordinator. She is an outstanding representative of our museum. Her knowledge of history and her zeal in desiring to educate the public about African American History and promote inclusion is exemplary. Please come in to see our exhibits and meet Kevia in person.