Commissioner Shannon Reid - 2nd District (Vice Chair)
About Commissioner Shannon Reid
With the exception of a 4-year adventure in New York City, Shannon is a lifelong Lawrencian. She was raised here by a community who cared and offered support throughout her youth, which was steeped in experiences of family violence and deep personal trauma. Without the community support offered by her neighbors, friends’ families, robust social services, and many wonderful teachers -- Shannon is certain her life would look different today. Thankfully, the Douglas County Community planted early seeds of values Shannon now works to live by: justice, safety, and mutual aid.
Lucky to be educated by schools throughout Douglas County’s 2nd District, Shannon is a proud alumnus of New York & Broken Arrow Elementary Schools and Billy Mills Middle School where she got to know Principal Blackbird, who opened her eyes to the true history of Haskell Indian Nations University with education, cultural understanding and opportunities for service on campus. She graduated Lawrence High in 2003, having served 2 years as Class President, plus Editor-in-Chief of The Budget her senior year. Shannon is a proud Chesty Lion and keeps in touch with key formative educators from LHS still.
During her time as a student at University of Kansas, Shannon served as a Resident Assistant at Hashinger Hall during its last year in the original building, a role and community she fell in love with. Working at KU Student Housing helped her lean into natural empathy skills, and an ability to lead by way of compassionate connection. Being an RA laid an early foundation for Shannon’s career in direct service and advocacy work. She later moved to Brooklyn after spending two life-changing summers in upstate New York at Camp Fiver, the flagship program of Fiver Children’s Foundation in NYC. During her first non-profit job, Shannon had the opportunity to learn what community building and empowerment could look like for young people surviving so many injustices. As a Program Director for Fiver’s "LEAD" teen campers, she helped facilitate dialogue on equity, privilege, and social responsibility in leadership. Of course, she also loved to teach classic camp activities like fishing, canoeing, crafts, and backpacking.
Shannon left for Brooklyn more eager than ever to explore the path of public service. She was selected to be an AmeriCorps VISTA Member at Groundwork, Inc., a community-based organization in East New York that provides a wide scope of support services to neighborhood communities. She also worked retail and childcare jobs for a few years in Brooklyn before deciding she was ready to come back home. In 2010, Shannon re-joined AmeriCorps for another year of public service focused on coordinating service opportunities at local organizations through the United Way of Douglas County’s Roger Hill Volunteer Center. Her favorite project from that time was developing the "Summer of Service" program where Douglas County youth signed up for week-long volunteer projects throughout the entire county. During that time, Shannon also trained to become an advocate at GaDuGi SafeCenter (now the Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center), where she gained the tools to support and empower survivors of violence like herself. She quickly realized the need to increase both access and understanding of the local system responses to folks suffering abuse and exploitation in our community. In February 2013, Shannon became the Court Advocacy Coordinator at The Willow Domestic Violence Center so she could directly impact the experiences of folks navigating the legal system as a means to establish safety for their families. She continues to serve in that role at The Willow today. Shannon has been self-studying local court procedures and how the public accesses our systems for close to a decade, which has taught her a lot about the everyday barriers people are facing. She knows many local stakeholders and believes in the capacity that our community has to foster increasingly creative solutions to these complex issues.
Shannon and her partner, Bobbi Henson, live in the Prairie Park neighborhood and enjoy making native prairie gardens together for resident pollinators of all varieties. Bobbi, an Air Force Academy graduate, currently works at Cerner as a Software Engineer, and spends much of their time on woodworking projects and DIY home improvement. Together, Shannon and Bobbi are committed to supporting local community organizing efforts focused on racial equity and justice. They also love the opportunity to travel whenever possible, usually on a mission to go have epic hiking adventures in remote places.
Communities in the 2nd Commission District Include
Baldwin City, City of Eudora, City of Lawrence (Southeast), Eudora Township, Grant Township, Palmyra Township, and Wakarusa Township (East).
- Peaslee Tech Board of Directors
- Horizon 2020 Steering Committee
- Destination Management Inc. (DMI)
- E-Community for Douglas County - Leadership Board and Financial Review
- Metropolitan E-Community for City of Lawrence: Leadership Board