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College celebrates Black History Month

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Feb 08, 2019

To celebrate Black History Month, the College of Lake County invites the community to participate in a series of events, which take place at the Grayslake and Southlake (Vernon Hills) Campuses as well as other venues. Admission is free unless otherwise noted.

Feb. 9: Poetry and Jazz in Motion, 7-10 p.m., Room A011. Poets Moe Mentum, Awthentik, Odyssey and Deana Dean will perform along with Tim Cunningham, a St. Louis-based saxophonist playing smooth jazz. Admission is $10 for CLC students and $20 for non-students. Pay at the door. For details, call Beverly Phelps, multicultural coordinator, at (847) 543-2778 or The event is sponsored by CLC’s Black Student Union and benefits a scholarship honoring CLC alumna Holly Graham.

Feb. 13: Panel discussion: Lake County’s African-American History Makers, noon-2 p.m. in Room C106. Engage and network with a panel of leaders in our community. Panelists include: Dr. Karynn Allen, optometrist; Sam Cunningham, Waukegan Mayor; Mary Ross Cunningham, commissioner and vice chair, Lake County Board; and Dr. Melvin Hinton, chief of Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Services, Illinois Department of Corrections. The panel also includes Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserve District Board; Judge Reginald C. Mathews of the 19th Judicial Circuit Court, Lake County; and Billy McKinney, commissioner of buildings and public property, City of Zion. Rounding out the panel are the following:  Torrie Newsome, attorney at law; Edith Newsome, alderman of the 5th Ward, Waukegan; Marc Jones, president of the Waukegan Park District Board of Commissioners; Dr. Robert Woods, licensed clinical psychologist and Drs. William E. Woods and Carmen Woods, obstetricians and gynecologists.

Feb. 21: Celebrate Black History Month with Vernon Hills High School, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., CLC Southlake Campus, 1120 S. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills. CLC’s Black Student Union members will be hosting a “Jeopardy”-style game on black history.

Feb. 22: Black History Experience, 5:30-8 p.m., Miguel Juarez Middle School, 201 N Butrick St., Waukegan. CLC’s Black Student Union will staff a black history information table and answer students’ questions.

Feb. 23: 35th Annual Salute to Gospel, 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Genesee Photo of JJ Hairston of Youthful PraiseTheatre, 203 N. Genesee St. in downtown Waukegan. The featured performers are JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise as well as Ms. Anita Wilson. An accomplished gospel singer, Hairston is the leader, chief songwriter and director of Youthful Praise, a Billboard chart-topping national choir. Youthful Praise is known for its exuberant, urban-tinged gospel as well as praise and worship songs. In 2018, Hairston and the group were nominated for nine Gospel Music Stellar Awards and emerged with  six. The group also received in 2018 a Billboard Music Award and an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Rhythm & Soul Award. Youthful Praise has recorded eight albums, and their 2017 single, “You Deserve It,” placed first on four Billboard Magazine charts, including Hot Gospel Songs.

Photo:  Gospel singer JJ Hairston leads Youthful Praise at the 35th Annual Salute to Gospel concert.

Anita Wilson is American gospel music singer, songwriter and music producer. The East St. Louis, Ill. native spent several years as background singer with Donald Lawrence & Company, then emerged as a solo recording artist in 2011 with the ballad “Speechless.” Her 2013 album “Worship Soul” as well as her 2015 album “Vintage Worship” each were Grammy nominated for Best Gospel Album.

Effie Rolfe, a Chicago-based media personality, speaker and author, will serve as emcee along with JoHaan Cotton-Wilson, CLC special projects coordinator. Additionally, the 2019 Harambee Award of Excellence recipients, Rev. Jesus Gerena and Rev. Dr. A.C. Conley, will be honored at the event The host choir is the College of Lake County Gospel Choir, directed by Matthew Hunter, a music education graduate of Michigan State University and prior director of choirs at Niles West High School in Skokie.

Ticket information: $28 general admission; $26 for seniors 65+, CLC students/staff/children); $33 at the door. Groups of 20-29: $23; groups over 30: $19. For group sales, call the Box Office at (847) 543-2431 (group sales are not available at CLC LancerZone stores). For tickets, call (847) 543-2300 or visit Additionally, tickets are available at the James Lumber Center Box Office (Grayslake) and CLC LancerZone store locations: Grayslake Campus, 19351 W. Washington St., Room B131, Grayslake, (847) 543-2086; Lakeshore Campus, 33 N. Genesee St., Room S116, Waukegan, (847) 543-2189; Southlake Campus, 1120 S. Milwaukee Ave., Room V134, Vernon Hills, (847) 543-6530. On the performance date, Feb. 23, tickets will be available only at the Genesee Theatre box office.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes, provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.