Skip Navigation

College News

Black Student Union wraps up successful exhibit at Dunn Museum

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Nov 18, 2021

College of Lake County (CLC) prides itself on being a part of the community. The college’s Black Student Union partnered with the Dunn Museum of Lake County to host an exhibit around black voices. The exhibit gave CLC students a chance to share their own experiences and viewpoints with Lake County.

Photo of the Dunn Museum exhibit“We are a community college, we are the community,” said African-American Student Outreach and Programs Coordinator Beverly Phelps. “It was a way of showing what we’re teaching our students to do to be successful outside the classroom. It’s another level of success and a great benefit outside of education. Every student has a voice, and they should be shared with the community.”

The exhibit, titled “Our Voice is Black History,” ran from Feb. 6 to Oct. 24 and included various forms of creative expression. The museum gave the Black Student Union autonomy to construct the exhibit the way they wanted to. The exhibit included poems, a painting, a short story and a video of interviews with various Black community leaders in Lake County.

“It was their success story. They could express themselves however they felt creatively,” Phelps said. “They were able to tell their stories of the past, present and future and say what they wanted without being looked down upon.”

The museum, which has worked with CLC in the past, reached out to the Black Student Union to put something together regarding Black Lives Matter.

Students were invited to participate, and Phelps said students of various ages and backgrounds joined in. 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 liked writing and creating art. This was a good way to put different perspectives into the world. Not just for Black people, but all brown people.”

During the course of the exhibit, two people asked Mitchell Jr. for copies of his poem, something that made him feel proud of what he accomplished.

“I never imagined someone would want to see my work or hear the words I say,” he said.

The reception of the entire exhibit from the public was overwhelmingly positive.

Phelps said, “The feedback and comments were excellent. Community members were impressed with the student’s expression and professionalism. It was a humbling experience for everyone.”

Phelps said she’s hoping to continue this partnership into the future with other multicultural groups at CLC.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.