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SGTC holds annual Black History Month Program for nearly 300

AMERICUS — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) president John Watford, Ed.D., welcomed fellow technical college president, Ivan Allen, Ed.D., of Central Georgia Technical College, as guest speaker of the college’s annual Black History Month program recently. The program was held in the John M. Pope Center on the college’s Americus campus and was attended by nearly 300 community members, students, faculty, and staff members of all races.
The title of the program was The Power of Faith Shapes the Future — a theme that could be found throughout the program and was even present in Allen’s speech, which focused on the biblical story of David and Goliath.
“This will not be a presentation today of Booker T. Washington and Sojourner Truth and Rosa Parks and Dr. King and Malcolm X,” he said. “I can give you all the names and we can read about their accomplishments … but I want to discuss the great power that’s within you. You can face any Goliath that’s out here. The discrimination that people have faced for decades and centuries — you can beat it. We can beat it.”
Allen continued to use the story of David and Goliath as an illustration for his speech, focusing on the five smooth stones that David is said to have used to defeat the giant. He gave each stone a representation, saying that in order to defeat the Goliath in our lives, we need to carry the five stones — commitment, courage, communication, confidence, and faith. He went into detail about why each “stone” is vital.
In closing, Allen told the attendees in the room how they can use the stones to make a difference.
“Whether you believe it or not, we are facing a Goliath in our lives right now. The division that threatens us will tear us apart, if we will not face our fears,” he said. “I want you to take with you those five smooth stones and use them every time in your lifetime you run up against the battle of discrimination, of separation, of those who are trying to divide us because of our differences.”
Watford thanked Allen for speaking at the event, and presented him with a gift following his speech.
The hour-long program featured musical selections from the first-grade students of the Sumter County Primary School Singers and 14 members of the SGTC Gospel Choir, led by Leonard Tyson. The program also included a recitation of the Negro National Anthem, an invocation delivered by SGTC psychology instructor Michele Small, Ed.D., a welcome from Watford, an occasion by SGTC student Quinton Cromer, and a benediction from SGTC director of business and industry services Paul Farr. The 2019 Instructor of the Year winner, Brett Murray, presided over the program and offered closing remarks.
The event was planned by the African American History Program Committee, which was composed of Cynthia Carter, Teresa O’Bryant, Farrah Rutherford, SGTC Police Chief Sammy Stone, Linda Edge, Paul Farr, and Michele Small.