Skip Navigation

College News

April 29: Meet with a living legend, Ms. Bettie Mae Fikes

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Apr 20, 2021

College of Lake County’s (CLC) Women's Center presents “An Evening with Bettie Mae Fikes.” Fikes, also known as “The Voice of Selma,” is a celebrated icon of the 1960's Civil Rights Movement who has frequently performed as a core member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Freedom Singers and has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival and the Library of Congress. She is a recipient of the Long Walk to Freedom Award and has recently been inducted into the Smithsonian Institute's “Museum of Tolerance” in an exhibition honoring women of the Civil Rights Movement.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event to talk with a living legend,” said CLC Women’s Center Specialist Tammy Burns. “Her message is universal, timely and timelessly trans-generational.”

Fikes was born in Selma, AL in 1948 and began performing at the age of four. As a teenager, she was jailed in 1963 for her participation in a Selma protest, and was also involved in 1965’s Bloody Sunday. Most recently she sang at the funeral for fellow activist, Congressman John Lewis.

The event will happen Thursday, April 29 at 5 p.m. and is free to attend. Register in advance via Zoom or contact Tammy Burns at for more information.

About College of Lake County:

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.