Jackie Lacey, the first woman and the first African-American to serve as L.A. County’s District Attorney since the office was started in 1850, will be the keynote speaker at Altadena Baptist Church’s thirty-fifth annual Black History Celebration, on Sunday, February 17th. The program, which will begin at 5 pm, will also include reflections on the continuing struggle toward equality in America, asking the theme question “Can We Make a Difference?” There will be inspiring gospel music by the church’s choir and soloists. Afterwards, all those attending will be invited to enjoy a free soul-food fellowship meal.

D.A. Lacey grew up in Crenshaw, the daughter of parents who lived in Georgia during a time of deep segregation and discrimination. Lacey says, “The word back then was, come to L.A. where you can get a job and where there are opportunities. I grew up in a home where my father was very strict. I couldn’t just go out anywhere. There were two things we had to do, we had to go to church and we had to go to school.”

Lacey took advantage of her opportunities, excelling in her educational studies. She graduated from U.C. Irvine in 1979, with a BA in Psychology, then attended USC Law School, graduating in 1982. She has been with the L.A. County D.A.’s Office since 1986, first as a Deputy D.A., then as Chief Deputy D.A. in 2011. She was elected to the position of D.A. in 2012, in what was considered a major upset. Since then, she has been systematically attacking many of the major issues being faced in today’s law enforcement. She has been quoted as saying, “There’s nothing like the feeling of making a difference in history.” Jackie Lacey currently lives in Granada Hills, with her husband David. The couple have two adult children, Kareem and April.

Altadena Baptist Church has been a racially-integrated congregation since the mid-1970s, and this annual Celebration has become one of its most meaningful and important events of the year. Recent speakers have included TV news anchor Beverly White, Fuller Seminary’s Dr. Joy Moore, Seattle Pacific University professor Dr. Brenda Salter-MacNeil and Metropolitan Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Tyrone L. Skinner.

For more information regarding the Celebration, please call the church office, at (626) 797-8970.