Rev. Shelia Goins addressed a room full of students, faculty and staff at the recent Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. (Photo by Jan Dona)GODFREY – In recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in the lead-up to Black History Month, Lewis and Clark Community College held a celebration Jan. 26, featuring keynote speaker Rev. Shelia Goins.

Goins, who spoke to the group about the importance of financial literacy, is a retired bank manager and was the first African American woman to be hired as a branch manager in the Riverbend area.

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Among Goins’ accomplishments, she has served on the Alton Parks and Recreation Board of Directors, St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundations Board, Arms of Love/Options Now board chair, and Riverbend Growth Association ambassador, where she was named Ambassador of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

She became an ordained reverend with Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in 2008.

Currently, Goins is vice-chairman of the Alton Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, a member of the James Killion Park Beautification and Enhancement Committee, and a member of the Wood River Phillips 66 Community Advisory Panel.

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Goins stressed the importance and impact of fair lending laws as they relate to Dr. King’s message.

“Financial literacy is the possession of a set of skills and the knowledge that allows an individual to make an informed and effective decision with all of their financial resources,” she said. “As an underwriter, I want you to succeed. I want to see someone who has done the work.”

Goins told the group they can rebound from bad financial decisions and reach their goals, but it takes work.

“We have to make an intentional effort to get what we want as it relates to financing -- as it relates to lending and accounting,” she said. “There is equal opportunity to thrive and reach your financial goals, but there is work you have to do to put yourself in a position to be approved by that underwriter.”

Black History Month at L&C is filled with speakers and events for students and the community:

  • 2/6 – Student Soul Food Luncheon: 2-4 p.m., River Bend Arena.
  • 2/7 – Student Big George Brock Jr. Performance: 11 a.m.-1 p.m., The Commons.
  • 2/9 – Criminal Justice Presentation with Sgt. Calvin Dye, Illinois State Police: 11 a.m., Ann Whitney Olin Theatre, Hatheway Cultural Center.
  • 2/10 – Student Activities Conference: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., The Commons.
  • 2/14 – Student Valentine’s Day Event: 11 a.m.-1 p.m., The Commons.
  • 2/16 – Underground Railroad Tour: 1 p.m., departing from L&C’s Campus Safety Office. Registration required. (618) 468-6400.
  • 2/17 – Red Cross Blood Drive: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., The Commons. Schedule at
  • 2/20 – Public Speaking Presentation with IAM Wealth Builders President Monica Boyd: 11 a.m., Ann Whitney Olin Theatre, Hatheway Cultural Center.
  • 2/27 – SIUE Black Theatre Workshop: 11 a.m., Ahlemeyer Atrium, Trimpe 141.

For more information about Black History Month and L&C Student Activities events, contact Coordinator Jared Hennings at (618) 468-6400 or

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