Community leaders and members joined the RiverBend Growth Association’s Community Conversation on Diversity & Inclusion event Thursday, May 20, 2021, featuring Jaqui Melton, MBA from the Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence at Barnes Jewish Hospital.

This month’s event wrapped up a three-part series titled “Introduction to Community Health.” Over the course of this series, social determinants of health were covered including topics on Education, Neighborhood, Social Network, Health, and Economic Stability. The recordings of the series and other RBGA events can be found at:

This event is presented and hosted by the RiverBend Growth Association and sponsored by Alton Memorial Hospital.

We were honored to have Melton join us to help us learn and grow as a community. The mission of the RBGA is to provide the leadership required to attract, promote and support new and existing enterprise growth throughout the Riverbend community and one way we will continue to see to that is through education.”

RBGA’s Director of Member Services, Trish Holmes

The RiverBend Growth Association has taken a necessary step toward realizing equity in their region and fulfilling the wholeness of their mission and vision. They have done so by engaging in sometimes tough, but always necessary truth-telling conversations that we have traditionally been taught to avoid, ignore, or forget. And by the end, I could observe a paradigm shift happening—a shift we are seldom afforded in a society that can often position idealism over transparency and the embracing of lived experiences and histories.”

Jaqui Melton, MBA

Melton is an experienced group facilitator and curriculum developer, with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital, health care, and education industries. She is skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Conflict Resolution, Fundraising, Leadership, Research, Community Building, and Event Organizing. She is a strong community and social services professional with a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Secondary Education. A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) focused on Educational Leadership and Social Justice is in progress.

The RiverBend Growth Association is the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Organization for the communities of the Riverbend. As a Chamber of Commerce, we actively promote activities between our member businesses. As an Economic Development Organization, we work closely with state, regional, county, and local officials to develop new employment opportunities. The Growth Association serves the following communities in southwestern Illinois: Alton, Bethalto, East Alton, Elsah, Foster Township, Godfrey, Grafton, Hartford, Roxana, South Roxana, Wood River, and Wood River Township. The mission of the Growth Association is to provide the leadership required to attract, promote and support new and existing enterprise growth throughout the Riverbend community.