Donna Brazile, American author, academic, and political analyst currently serving as Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee will serve as keynote speaker for UIC’s (University of Illinois at Chicago) Black History Month celebration event.
“Donna Brazile was selected by our planning committee who starting meeting in Sept. to discuss the event,” said Carrie Grogan, associate director of UIC’s campus programs. This was a big election year and so we wanted to bring in someone who is politically savvy and her face was all over television so she is very recognizable.”
Brazile will speak at 4 p.m., Feb 19, on the university’s theme for this year’s Black History Month: “Reaching Back, Moving Forward.”
“She likes the openness and she wants to engage students in conversation,” Grogan said.
Grogan said the university as a whole would like to increase its retention of Black students.
“We have a lot of support programs to assist African American students so they can stay in school,” Grogan said. “That’s why Black History month is so important on our campus. We’re hoping for a big turnout of African American students. We want to engage our African American student body. African American students played a big role in planning the event.”
Other event highlights include Dr. Haki Madhubuti, founder and president of Third World Press, and founder of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University, as the featured guest for the event’s Literary Speaker series scheduled for 4 p.m., Feb. 21 in Richard J. Daley Library, Room 1-470.
Feb. 22 is opening night of the stage production of Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” which takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the UIC Theatre. Morrison’s first novel adapted for the stage by Lydia Diamond and directed by Derrick Sanders, is a haunting portrait of a young impressionable black girl who believes that to be beautiful in the eyes of others she must have the bluest of blue eyes herself.
Additional show times: 2/22 at 7:30 p.m., 2/23 at 7:30 p.m., 2/24 at 2:00 p.m., 2/27 at 12:00 p.m., 2/28 at 7:30 p.m., 3/1 at 7:30 p.m., 3/2 at 7:30 p.m., and 3/3 and 2:00 p.m.
Also scheduled for Feb. 22 is the 23rd Annual Blues Cabaret featuring “Mississippi Heat” and Fernando Jones. This event takes place at 7 p.m. at the UIC Forum. Tickets: are $25 for the general public, UIC faculty and staff and Alumni. Tickets are $10 UIC Students (1 per student I-card, only available at the door).
A silent auction of items signed by Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Billy Joel will take place to contribute towards a book scholarship for UIC students.
Attendees can download a Black History Month Passport from the Campus Programs Website to participate in the frequent event attendee promotion. Anyone who turns in a passport stamped at five or more Black History Month sponsored events will be entered into a drawing to win a $250 book scholarship!
For more information, please call, (312) 413-5070.
By Deborah Bayliss