Seeks to raise $1 million for college scholarships


Through events like this, UNCF—now in its 80th year—is changing the HBCU narrative across the nation by helping more students get to and through college

CHICAGO (May 15, 2024) – As a major event during the year-long 80th anniversary celebration of UNCF (United Negro College Fund), UNCF Chicago will recognize seven extraordinary individuals and one corporate supporter at its “A Mind Is…” (AMI) Gala, at 7 p.m., on June 15, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Visit uncf.org/Chicago.

Rev. Otis and First Lady Monica Moss of Trinity United Church of Christ will receive the AMI Alumni Award. Ill. Senate Assistant Majority Leader, Sen. Mattie Hunter (3rd District); Ill. Deputy Majority Leader, Rep. Lisa Hernandez (3rd District); Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer (2nd District); and Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (4th District); will receive the AMI Advocate Award. Corliss V. Garner, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Old National Bank, will receive the AMI Community Award. Target will receive the AMI Corporate Award.

“Our honorees are incredibly committed to the mission of UNCF. Now, in our 80th year, we’re proud to honor individuals and organizations who help make a difference in the lives of deserving students,” said Lisa M. Rollins, Regional Development Director, UNCF.

“As leaders of Trinity United Church of Christ, Rev. Otis and First Lady Monica Moss not only support UNCF, they also lead an 8,500 member church in giving to education. Sen. Mattie Hunter, Rep. Lisa Hernandez, Commissioner Dennis Deer, and Commissioner Stanley Moore, serve in various areas of government working on behalf of our communities, including our students. They are committed to providing opportunities for deserving students to pursue a college education.

“Corliss Garner, our Community Award honoree, continues to hold up the DEI banner, which is critical to UNCF as we seek to increase corporate funding in support of our mission. Target remains an outstanding corporate citizen. The company began supporting UNCF more than a decade ago right here in Chicago and is now a UNCF national sponsor. We are so grateful for this level of corporate support,” Rollins said.

This year the AMI fundraising goal is $1 million!

Gala Chair Steven Hunter said, “I am so proud to take on this leadership position for the 80th anniversary of UNCF Chicago and the many students, across ethnicities who benefit from its work. We set a high goal at $1 million, and I intend to ensure that we reach it.” Hunter is the Chicago Office Chair of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Group at Quarles & Brady LLP. Quarles is the Presenting Sponsor of the AMI Gala.

The evening promises to be a night filled with purpose and a resounding call for the Chicago community to join UNCF in supporting education. It will also be a festive affair with music, dancing, and exquisite food fare. Entertainment will be provided by R&B/neo soul singer-songwriter, actor, and four-time Grammy Award nominee Eric Benet.

From 2022 – 2023, UNCF awarded 541 scholarships to students in Illinois.

UNCF’s iconic motto now revised still rings true…a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in™. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact UNCF at 312-845-2200.

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