GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College’s campus and greater communities are invited to join together for a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. next week.

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The celebration, to be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 26, in the Trimpe Ahlemeyer Atrium (TR 141), will include a keynote address by Alton's First Lady, Rev. Sheila Goins, live music by Blancas (led by L&C's own Brenda Lancaster), readings by L&C students, and free refreshments at the conclusion of the event.

Rev. Goins’ address will focus on financial literacy.

A native Altonian, Rev. Goins began her career as a banker in 1986 – first, as a part-time teller, then she worked her way up to management. She was the first African American woman to be hired as the branch manager of a financial institution within the Riverbend community.

“I am honored to be the keynote speaker for the annual MLK event for Lewis and Clark Community College,” she said. “My career has awarded me the opportunity to share perspectives, my gratitude and experiences related to serving and supporting those impacted by social and economic disparities.”

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Since retiring last year, she continues to pay it forward by teaching and conducting workshops on financial literacy to youth groups and adult organizations within her community. Rev. Goins’ background and experience uniquely fit with the financial challenges people of color face in regard to housing, finance, loan acquisition and the like – one of the talking points for this year’s event.

Rev. Goins is also a psalmist with a great passion for motivational speaking. In the 1990s, she discovered that passion after receiving an “A” in a public speaking course she completed at Lewis and Clark. Her calling to motivate audiences has presented her numerous speaking engagements.

She understands the importance of being involved in her community and has previously served on the boards for the Alton Parks & Recreation Department and St. Anthony’s Hospital; she served as board chair for Thrive and has served as an ambassador for the RiverBend Growth Association. Rev. Goins currently serves as vice chair for Alton Memorial Hospital’s board of directors and is a newly appointed board member for Senior Services Plus. She also serves as chair for the James Killion Park Beautification and Enhancement Committee and is a member of the NCNW Alton Sector.

Rev. Goins continuously aims to be progressive and effective within her society. She has embraced her calling to always serve with purpose and joy. She also takes great pride in supporting her husband, who is the current mayor of Alton, Illinois, Rev. David A. Goins.

“There's probably no one better to headline this year’s event,” said Student Activities Coordinator Jared Hennings. "Sheila is cemented so well and respected in our community. She has the background and knowledge to communicate the theme's message to a spectrum of people regardless of race, gender or age."

This event will kick off Black History Month programming at the college throughout the month of February. To learn more about these events, visit www.lc.edu/campus-life.

Any questions about this event or any upcoming Black History Month event, can be directed to Hennings at (618) 468-6400 or jhenning@lc.edu.

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