GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College has a variety of events planned in February to honor Black History Month. All are open to the public and free of charge.

“We’re pleased with the offerings for Black History Month this year, which will include a few staples and some activities that are new,” said Student Activities Coordinator Jared Hennings. “It’s always a challenge to plan a cohesive mix of events for the community and the college, but we think we’ve accomplished just that.”

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The month-long celebration will kick off at noon on Monday, Feb. 2 in Reid Memorial Library, where communications expert D.C. Cooper will highlight information on the value of proficient public speaking. Learning how to develop skills to be become more confident and competent when speaking, in formal and informal settings, will be explored.

Led by soloist Lavell Moore, the Mo Pleasure Band will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Reid Restaurant. Guests will enjoy an assortment of music rich in African American history. Styles to be performed include rhythm and blues, soul and Motown.

BlackFacts, a three-part series, will take place at noon on Monday, Feb. 9, Monday, Feb. 16, and Wednesday, Feb. 25, all in Reid Restaurant. Students from L&C’s Black Student Association will provide insight into some of the lesser-known African Americans who have contributed to society in the fields of politics, business, arts, law, entertainment and more.

Community leaders who have shaped their careers through perseverance, vision and discipline, will share their journey to inspire the younger generation to become leaders in their own right, during Pathways to Leadership from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Feb. 10, in Trimpe 141.

Prison Performing Arts will present “Going Home” at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, in the Benjamin Godfrey Memorial Chapel. The play focuses on the process of reentering society after being imprisoned.

“This play is powerful, even comical, as it explores the redefinition of self from inmate to free citizen, including challenges facing employment opportunities, reshaping one’s expectations of freedom and having to negotiate the way the world may have changed during a prison sentence,” Hennings said.

Pizza, poetry and music will be featured in the Underground Connection at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 16. St. Louis poet Bill Brady will share his ability to weave life experiences into teaching moments using the art of spoken word.

The East St. Louis Community Performance Ensemble will perform at noon Wednesday, Feb. 18, in Reid Restaurant. The interactive dance performance will feature traditional West African drumming, artifacts and performances. Students will be encouraged to participate as they learn various techniques.

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The Student Activities department is inviting L&C students to grab some grub during a traditional soul food offering which will feature favorites, including greens, black-eyed peas, corn bread, fried chicken and candied yams, at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18 in Reid Restaurant.

“Playgrounded,” an original play by local playwright Leah Jo Becoat, will be preformed at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 20 in the Benjamin Godfrey Memorial Chapel. The touching story centers around Ellis, a bright, studious ninth grader, who is recovering from the untimely death of his father. The playground is the central location for all scenes, and it is also where Ellis and his buddies encounter Dirty Darryl, the neighborhood bully who makes life miserable for everyone.

“This play will warm your heart, tickle your funny bone and leave you with a powerful message of courage, confidence and community,” Hennings said..

A Red Cross blood, bone marrow and organ donation drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23 in The Commons. Both students and community residents are encouraged to donate.

Proper planning and financial independence will be discussed during Life Happens with Mad City Money from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Feb. 24, in Trimpe 141. Representatives from Shell Credit Union will teach the ins and outs of practical money management.

“This hands-on simulation will give young people a taste of the real world, complete with occupation, salary, spouse, student loan debt, credit card debt and medical insurance payments,” Hennings said. “You’re never too young to be smart about money. Come and find out how proper planning can put you on the fast track to financial independence.”

Back for the third consecutive year, the Underground Railroad Bus Tour will depart at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26 from Wade Hall. Participants will explore some of the various locations throughout the Riverbend area where slaves sought refuge as they escaped the South. Tour guide J. E. Robinson will provide the history and perspective of these noteworthy sites.

“This year, the highly-anticipated underground railroad tour will feature locations in Brighton, Jerseyville and Fosterburg,” Hennings said. “Another major positive about the tour is the cost, because it’s free. The transportation to the locations is very comfortable, utilizing a roomy coach bus.”

The tour lasts about an hour and a half, and reservations are required. Those wanting more information, or to make reservations, can call Hennings at (618) 468-6400.

Those wanting more information about L&C’s Black History Month calendar can contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at (618) 468-6030 or Hennings.

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