'Springfield 1908 Race Riot' presentation by R. Beverly Peters

July 29, 2021

History Comes Alive as R. Beverly Peters presents "The Springfield 1908 Race Riot." This engaging story will be presented, July 31 at 1:30 pm. at the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum, located at 1440 Monument Avenue in Springfield, Illinois.

Mrs Peters will tell the true story of the Springfield, Illinois Race Riot, when a White mob hastily and violently reacted to the lie that a White woman had been assaulted by a Black man.

R. Beverly Peters retired from public service after thirty-eight years. Mrs. Peters served most recently as the Deputy Director of Finance and Administration at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Previously, she served as Bureau Chief of Small Business Enterprises, a public-school teacher, corrections educator and administrator, and Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Illinois Springfield. Mrs. Peters currently is Vice President of HAP, Incorporated, a management and strategic planning firm.

Mrs. Peters exemplifies the essence of community involvement and volunteerism. She serves as Secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport Board Authority, Frontiers International Springfield Club, life member of NAACP, past member of Ameren Customer Advisory Council, past chair of the Girl Scouts Council’s Nominating Committee, past Director of the United Way Board of Directors, past board member of the League of Women Voters and is a 2006 graduate and alumni of the FBI Citizen’s Academy. She received the YWCA “Woman of Excellence Award.” She is past president of Springfield Decatur Area Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

In 2008, in recognition of the 1909 Founding of the NAACP, Mayor Timothy Davlin announced the formation of a special mayoral commission to commemorate the 1908 Race Riot that served as the catalyst for the formation of the NAACP. Mrs. Peters was appointed Chairman of the Commission. For more than a year the Commission collaborated with clergy, educational institutions, civic organizations, schools, community members, and others throughout the community to commemorate the event.

Famed artist Preston Jackson was commissioned to create the 1908 Springfield Race Riot commemorative structure, “ACTS OF INTOLERANCE” located in Union Park. In recognition of her work with the Commission, Mrs. Peters received, among other awards, the Illinois Humanities Council’s “Stud Terkel Service Award” and the Downtown Springfield, Inc. Award.

Mrs. Peters holds a BS Degree from LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, TN and Master’s from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

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