“We are a community college, we are the community,” said Beverly Phelps, African American student outreach and programs coordinator. “It was a way of showing what we teach our students to do to be successful outside of the classroom. This is another level of achievement and a great advantage outside of education. Every student has a voice, and it must be shared with the community. ”
The exhibition, titled “Our Voice is Black History,” ran from February 6 to October 24 and featured various forms of creative expression. The museum gave the Black Student Union the autonomy to build the exhibition as it wished. The exhibit included poems, painting, short story, and video interviews with various Lake County black community leaders.
“It was their success story. They could express themselves as they saw fit in creative ways,” said Phelps. “They were able to tell their stories of the past, present and future and say whatever they wanted without being looked down upon.”
The museum, which has worked with CLC in the past, contacted the Black Student Union to prepare something regarding Black Lives Matter.
Students have been invited to participate and Phelps said students of various ages and backgrounds have joined them. Willie Mitchell Jr. submitted a poem titled “Dear Young Brown Man”.
“I’ve never had a platform like this before,” Mitchell Jr. said. “I’ve always loved writing and creating art. It was a good way to put different perspectives on the world. Not just for blacks, but for all browns. ”
During the exhibit, two people asked Mitchell Jr. for copies of his poem, which made him proud of what he has accomplished.
“I never imagined that someone would want to see my work or hear the words I say,” he said.
Public reception of the entire exhibit has been overwhelmingly positive.
Phelps said, “The feedback and feedback was excellent. Members of the community were impressed by the student’s expression and professionalism. It was an enriching experience for everyone. ”
Phelps said she hopes to continue this partnership in the future with other multicultural groups in CLC.
College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to high quality equitable education, cultural enrichment, and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in Northeast Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college courses are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve their academic, professional and personal goals. More than 70,000 students have earned degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. Lake County College is the only higher education institution ranked among the 15 Best Places to Work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas including sustainability and conservation.
This press release was produced by the College of Lake County. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.