Updates About the Initiative & Diversity at UIC

Black History Month at UIC

Posted on February 15th, 2018

Blacknificent with Yara Shahidi

The theme for UIC’s Black History Month 2018 is “Blacknificent” and features a keynote conversation with actress Yara Shahidi.

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Black History Month commemorates the culture and contributions of Africans and African Americans. This year’s theme for Black History Month 2018 is “Blacknificent: Pride, Love, Culture,” and this year’s keynote event will be “A Conversation with Yara Shahidi.”

The Black History Month planning committee, including the Center for Student Involvement, the Student Activities Board and the African American Academic Network, are sponsoring the following events at UIC, which are open to public:

WHEN: February 15
6-8 p.m.

WHERE: Student Center East, Illinois Room
750 S. Halsted St.

Show Stoppers: Black History Month Showcase. Multimedia performance and art exhibition featuring the artistic contributions of the UIC community, including song, dance, visual art and poetry. The event is free and open to the public.


WHEN: February 19
6:30-8:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.

725 W. Roosevelt Rd.

This year’s keynote event will be “A Conversation with Yara Shahidi.” The actress, who plays Zoey Johnson on ABC’s critically acclaimed show “Black-ish,” will discuss social issues and women’s rights.

She has received a NAACP Image Award for outstanding supporting actress for her role on “Black-ish” and a Gracie Award for female in a breakthrough role. She uses her fame as a platform to talk about STEM, education and social issues.

This keynote event is free for current UIC students. RSVP here:
UIC faculty, staff and guests may purchase tickets for $20:


WHEN:  February 21
4:30-6:30 p.m.

WHERE: African American Cultural Center Gallery
Addams Hall, Rooms 200 and 209, 2nd floor
830 S. Halsted St.

The National Association of Black Accountants’ Black Success Seminar will feature business leaders Bianca Shellie-Robinson and Chinedu Iwuora. Shellie-Robinson is president of Cayden Cay Consulting and an international success-building strategist, project manager, speaker, business coach, business consultant, workshop facilitator and trainer. Iwuora is a CPA and audit senior at Deloitte, among the largest accounting firms in the world.


WHEN: February 22
3-4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Student Center East, Montgomery Ward Gallery
750 S. Halsted St.

Re-imagining Masculinities (RMI): Englewood Boys Installation will feature a dialogue with artist Julian Williams. The exhibit includes a series of 13 watercolor portraits by Williams, a Chicago-based artist. The installation re-envisions the lives and worlds of incarcerated African-American boys and young men. The work comes from Williams’ personal experience and efforts to heal and cope with his son’s incarceration.


WHEN: February 23
5:30-8 p.m.

WHERE: Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 S. Halsted St.

“Poetry Is Not A Luxury:” Black Women Witnessing in Dangerous Times, will feature poetry readings from black female poets Krista Franklin, Nikki Patin, Rosamond King and Tara Betts. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served and books will be available for purchase. Wheelchair accessible. For questions about accessibility, contact (312)413-1024.


WHEN: February 26 – March 2

WHERE: Great Cities Institute Suite 400
412 S. Peoria

The Kerner Report: 50 Years Later will be the focus of attention for the Great Cities Institute. In the aftermath of the 1967 urban “riots,” then-President Lyndon B. Johnson established the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, known as the Kerner Commission, after its chair, former Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner, Jr. The commission examined the conditions of the cities that led to the turmoil and issued recommendations. The report, released on Feb. 29, 1968, served as a pivotal moment in the changing dynamics of U.S. cities and of the critical analysis of the role of race as a division in America.

The Great Cities Institute will host a weeklong series February 26 through March 2 to discuss the Kerner Report’s findings and their continuing relevance for today’s urban issues. The keynote presentation from 9 to 11 a.m. March 1 will feature the last remaining member of the Kerner Commission, former U.S. Senator Dr. Fred Harris.

For more information on these events, please visit:
RSVP for the March 1 Keynote & Panel:

UIC Latino groups to host forum on US immigration detention centers

Posted on February 5th, 2018

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Latino Cultural Center and the Latin American and Latino studies program will be hosting a forum, “We call them Baby Jails,” to discuss policies involving family detention for undocumented immigrants.

Virginia Martinez

Virginia Martinez (Photo: Olga Lopez)

En Español


February 7
3-4:30 p.m.


The Rafael Cintrón Ortiz UIC Latino Cultural Center
Lecture Center B2
803 S. Morgan St.


The forum will feature Virginia Martinez, an attorney and community activist with the CARA Pro Bono Project, a pro bono legal services project to help the families detained in the towns of Dilley and Karnes in Texas. She will discuss the federal government’s opening of the largest immigrant, family-detention center in the country, the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. The center has 480 beds and can hold 2,400 women and children seeking asylum, most from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Many of these people, who are fleeing poverty and violence, become victims of crime and are detained without the ability to receive proper legal protection.

Martinez, who has spent most of her career working with non-profit organizations, has worked with the CARA Pro Bono Project in Dilley. She has also served as legislative staff attorney in the Midwest office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, and is on the Illinois Prison Review Board. Martinez, who was one of the first Latinas to practice law in Illinois, was also former director of the International Center for Health Leadership Development at UIC. Volunteers from the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association make up the CARA Pro Bono Project.

Additional sponsors of the forum include the UIC Institute for the Humanities Global Migration Working Group and the Heritage Garden Student Group.

The event is free and open to the public. For information, please call (312)996-3095.

Exhibits focus on black millennial self-representation, activism

Posted on January 23rd, 2018

Pedagogies of Protest: A student curated installation

UIC Honors College students will exhibit “Pedagogies of Protest,” a series of interactive panels that focus on protest related to social, cultural, political and environmental issues.

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s African American Cultural Center is continuing its 2017-2018 program, “Afro-Geographies,” by hosting two exhibits that will be on display and open to the public through the spring semester.


Opening Reception

Jan. 24
3:30 to 5 p.m.

Exhibits will run Jan. 24-May 11


UIC African American Cultural Center

Addams Hall, Rooms 200 and 209, 2nd floor
830 S. Halsted St.


UIC’s African American Cultural Center will premiere works by Chicago-based photographer Nathan Mansakahn, as well as an exhibit focusing on the dialogue of protest, created by 16 UIC Honors College students.

Both exhibits are part of the center’s “Afro-Geographies” program, which began in the fall of 2017 and focuses on the intersections that people of African descent must navigate toward self-identity within past, present and future histories and experiences. The latest exhibits will run until May 11.

Black Spectrum: A closer look at black joy and expression

Nathan Mansakahn’s photographs are part of an exhibit, “Black Spectrum: A Closer Look at Black Joy and Expression.”

Mansakahn’s self-curated exhibit, “Black Spectrum: A Closer Look at Black Joy and Expression,” focuses on black millennials and how they choose to represent themselves through their hairstyles, clothes and accessories in ways that resist the status quo and constricting ideas of blackness. “My work makes visible how black millennials redefine socially imposed limitations, and illustrates diverse and valid ways of being black, which combat the harms that emerge from being boxed in,” says Mansakahn.

In “Pedagogies of Protest,” 16 Honors College students assembled interactive panels drawing attention to a range of social, cultural, political and environmental issues. The panels are a result of an Honors College seminar, “Pedagogies of Protest” organized by the course instructor and the center’s postdoctoral associate Mario LaMothe. The panels focus on creative forms of protest taking part in the world today.

The contributors include UIC students Berenice Balderas, LaCreshia Birts, Rehman Bokhari, Arianna Brown, Kayla Butler, Anisha Chandran, Ashley Estrada, Elyzandra Freitas, Lana Hishmeh, Dawn Joy, Nida Fayyaz, Jessa Mae Mendiola, Eleanor Grace Ravenwhite, Lucy Schiller, Marla Stamps and Viviana Uribe.

More information about available at (312) 996-9549 or online.

UIC climbs in new Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranking

Posted on September 29th, 2017

aerial view of campus and Chicago skylineThe University of Illinois at Chicago has earned a spot among the top two dozen public universities, according to a Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education ranking.

UIC ranked 23rd among public universities,  including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which ranked eighth among public universities and third among the Big 10 schools, according to the ranking.

The ranking is in its second year and looked at 1,054 institutions across the country. This year, UIC climbed to the 111th spot from the 127th overall spot nationally when the ranking first came out in 2016. According to the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, UIC ranked 21st out of 275 institutions in the Midwest region.

The rankings take into consideration four “pillars” that focus primarily on what the institutions offer students. Officials culled responses from over 200,000 surveys of students across the country to help determine the rankings.

UIC scored highest in the “environment” pillar, which looked at staff and faculty diversity, student inclusion and the proportion of international students. UIC’s score of 81.5 ranked it 40th overall.

UIC also scored highly when students were asked to respond to the surveys for the “engagement” pillar.  UIC scored an 80 in this area after the majority of students said they would recommend UIC to a friend or family member. As part of this category, students responded that they believed that the school supported critical thinking; its teachers directly supported what they were learning and made it applicable to the “real world,” and that UIC fostered an environment that allowed students to interact freely with faculty and teachers.

The survey also looked at outcomes, which took in graduation rates, salaries after graduation, reputation, and the ability to repay student debt after graduation. UIC scored 62.1, putting it at 169th among all of the institutions.

UIC enrolled a record number of students at its campus this fall, continuing a three-year pattern. This is the result of significant increases in new freshmen (23 percent) and transfer students (12 percent), resulting in an overall 8.3 percent increase in the total number of undergraduate students on campus (19,448 from 17,959 in fall 2016).

Total enrollment for fall semester, including graduate and professional students, climbed to 30,539, up nearly 5 percent from last year’s 29,120 students. This is the first time UIC surpasses the 30,000-student mark in its history. The size of the new freshmen class (4,064 from 3,307 in 2016) also surpassed the 4,000-student mark for the first time in UIC’s history.

Solicitudes de becas NEH disponibles para estudios museológicos

Posted on September 5th, 2017

Therese Quinn, directora del programa de estudios de museos y exposiciones, ayudó a obtener una subvención NEH para aumentar la representación de las minorías en los estudios museísticos.

Therese Quinn, directora del programa de estudios de museos y exposiciones, ayudó a obtener una subvención NEH para aumentar la representación de las minorías en los estudios museísticos.

Los estudiantes de color que deseen obtener una maestría en museos y estudios de exposición pueden solicitar una de las dos becas de la Fundación Nacional para las Humanidades (NEH por sus siglas en Ingles).

For English

El premio es parte de las becas inaugurales de Humanidades de NEH, que proveen programación cultural a grupos desatendidos y se otorga a 34 organizaciones, incluyendo el programa de estudios de museos y exposiciones de la Universidad de Illinois en Chicago, reconocido como MUSE. La subvención requiere que la UIC asigne $50,000 de fondos NEH para estipendios y dispensas de matrícula por un valor total de $100,000.

Therese Quinn, directora de MUSE, dijo que había una necesidad de diversidad y citó estadísticas recientes que muestran que los blancos no hispanos forman la abrumadora cantidad de curadores, conservadores y administradores que ayudan a los museos a realizar sus misiones intelectuales y educativas.

MUSE es un programa interdisciplinario y centrado en la justicia que enfatiza la evolución de los contextos sociales y políticos de las instituciones culturales.

Una investigación de la Fundación Andrew W. Mellon de 2015 muestra que “el personal blanco no hispano domina las categorías de trabajo … asociadas con la misión intelectual y educativa de los museos, incluidos los de curadores, conservadores, educadores y liderazgo”.  En esos puestos, usando las categorías del censo, “el 84 por ciento del personal se identifica como blanco no hispano, con 6 por ciento de asiáticos, 4 por ciento de morenos, 3 por ciento de blancos hispanos y el 3 por ciento de dos o más razas.

La Beca de Acceso a las Humanidades de la NEH se usará para apoyar asistencias de posgrado ofreciendo estipendios y dispensas de matrícula para dos estudiantes graduados de color inscritos en el programa de maestría interdisciplinario de dos años. El primer estudiante que recibió estos fondos comenzó el programa en el otoño de 2017 y el segundo beneficiario será un miembro de la clase entrante 2018.

El ciclo de aplicación de MUSE 2018 se abrió el 1 de septiembre y todos los materiales de solicitud deben recibirse antes del 15 de diciembre.

Para obtener información sobre MUSE, vaya aquí y vaya aquí para obtener información sobre la aplicación.