he 23rd Annual “A Mind Is” Gala took place at the Hyatt Regency on June 17th hosted a Blue carpet reception with honorees Toni Preckwinkle, Chicago Cubs and Marcus Bullock and UNCF’s 2023 Mastermind Class and CEO, UNCF. Actor Michael Epps from Showtime’s Hit TV Series “The Chi” were among the Chicago notable celebrities that attended the UNCF Gala. Highlights from the inaugural night included Chicago Cubs Chairman Thomas Rickett accepting the corporate award on behalf of the Cubs and praising the partnership with UNCF and the impact it made on students attending HBCUs. Hosted by Fox News Anchor Anita Blanton and WGCI’s hostTrey White UNCF Chicago highlighted the mastermind class that included past recipients of the UNCF scholarships such as law student Lamariah Smith, Khary Armster and young upcoming masterminds Justin Cunningham of Socialworks, Astin Hayes of Remy Cointreau and more. This year’s event’s partners were co-chair Noil Corp, Inc and more. Next year’s gala will celebrate 80 years of UNCF with a plethora of special guests.
1. Christal Stinson, Regional Development Director, Chicago Region – UNCF; Lisa Rollins, Regional Workplace Director, Midwest – UNCF; Julian Green, Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs – Chicago Cubs; Carl Washington, Area Development Director – Illinois; Fred Mitchell, Vice President-Midwest Division – UNCF2. Jahkil Jackson – Founder of Project I Am ; Toni Preckwinkle – President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners
3. Southland College Prep High School Chorus & Dance Team of Richton Park, Illinois – under the direction of Fred Nelson, III Musical Director and Superintendent Dr. Blondean Davis.
“For more than 79 years, UNCF has fueled HBCUs with vital resources to educate generations of African American and other minority students. During the continuing unprecedented health and racial pandemics we’re all living through, our students and institutions need support now more than ever. We are at risk of washing away a generation of talented and deserving African American and minority students. We are asking for as many donations as possible right now because the students we help now will be our next generation of doctors, nurses, biologists, virologists, .. the pandemic frontliners of the future. We thank everyone in Chicago that participated in the “A Mind Is” Gala to help ensure better futures for us all,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO, UNCF. “
4. Anita Blanton, Anchor – Fox 32 Chicago; Trey White (Emcee), Radio Personality – WGCI
5. Michael Epps – Actor, Showtime TV Series “The Chi” ; Keisha Epps – Social Influencer ; Dr. Blondean Davis, Superindent & District 162 CEO Southland College Prep6. Lisa Rollins, Regional Workplace Director, Midwest – UNCF; Christal Stinson, Regional Development Director, Chicago Region – UNCF; Fred Mitchell, Vice President-Midwest Division – UNCF; Marcus Bullock (“A Mind Is…” Alumni Awardee), President – Chicago Inter-Alumni Council & President, Chicago Chapter – Lane College7. Julian Green, Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs – Chicago Cubs; Dr. Blondean Davis, Superindent & District 162 CEO Southland College Prep
The UNCF Chicago is still accepting donations. To learn more or to donate, please go to UNCF.org/ @UNCFChicago #UNCF