The Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism (SCoDR) formed in 2011 as a Regional Organizing partner of Crossroads AROT to assist organizations in Springfield, IL develop policies and practices that promote racial justice and racial equity and to envision a pathway for the Greater Springfield community to dismantle institutional racism. SCODR emerged from community partnerships catalyzed by the racial justice commitments of the Domincan Sisters of Springfield, IL and through community-wide workshops their Antiracism Team sponsored and hosted beginning in 2004.
SCoDR sponsors several training events in Springfield each year, and organizes with institutions throughout the greater Springfield region to bring about antiracist transformation. The Coalition Partners include the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, healthcare institutions, education, and other major employers.
Kelly Wickham Hurst
Kelly Wickham Hurst joined Crossroads staff in 2017 as an Organizer/Trainer based in Springfield, IL; a city that has been engaged in antiracism work in the local government, health care industry, religious, and education sectors for more than a decade. An activist, speaker, and storyteller, Kelly’s primary work has been in education where she spent 23 years as a classroom teacher and an assistant principal. Additionally, Kelly served as a Literacy Coach working in faculty development and contracted with other schools on professional development and training. She is Executive Director of Being Black at School, an advocacy non-profit that works on policy at the state and local levels. Kelly and her spouse, Russell, are the parents of 6 adult children and 2 granddaughters.
Sister Marcelline Koch, OP
Sister Marcelline Koch, OP, is a Dominican Sister and directs the Office of Justice for the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, IL. In this capacity, she serves as the Justice Promoter, Co-coordinator of the Springfield Dominican Anti-Racism Team, and liaison for the congregation’s Socially Responsible Investing effort. In addition to her membership on the Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism leadership team, she also volunteers with the Springfield Immigration Advocacy Network.
Rev. Susan Phillips
Sister Elyse Marie Ramirez, OP
Sister Elyse Marie Ramirez, OP, is the second daughter in a family of five daughters and two sons. Both her maternal and paternal grandparents were immigrants to this country; her father is second generation Mexican and her mother is second generation Italian.
As a young adult member of the Retail Clerks Teamsters Union, she walked picket lines and voted on contract negotiations. She also became active in the Charismatic movement. Eventually, she entered the Dominican Sisters of Springfield. She works at being a lifelong learner. Grace also gave her the gifts of ministry as a 5th-12th grade teacher, high school campus minister, as well as serving in the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Religious and serving her community in a variety of internal ministries
Wesley G. Robinson-McNeese, MD
Wesley G. Robinson-McNeese, MD serves part-time as Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s (SIUC) System Executive Director for Diversity Initiatives. He is certified through Healthcare Executive Diversity and Inclusion training by the Association of American Medical Colleges and Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. A member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical Society, McNeese is a retired Emergency Physician. His undergraduate education was at Anderson University, IN, Illinois State University-Normal and SIUC. His medical training was at SIU School of Medicine (’86), followed by a Residency at McGaw Medical Center, Northwestern Medical School, Chicago, IL (’90).