UNCF Chicago honored ‘Millennial Masterminds’ at Annual Gala

On Saturday (June 17), UNCF Chicago gathered thousands of people in support of their “A Mind Is Gala” at the Hyatt Regency. 

Black excellence set the tone for the evening as many filled the room with their best gowns and tuxedos to raise awareness, but most importantly, funds for scholarships so students can attend a United Negro College Fund member institution on the campus of a historically black college or university.

The entire evening was giving wealth, class, education, and eloquence with the uniquely designed auction of black art. The curated portrait studio allowed all guests to partake in custom photography sessions. The blue carpet made each participant feel like a celebrity for the evening with interviews from producer and radio personality Ryan Lee.

HBCU grads were highly visible, with Xavier University alum and WGCI radio personality Trey White and Hampton University alum and FOX 32 Chicago news anchor Anita Blanton serving as the emcees for the evening. As they hit the stage, they led the crowd in reintroducing their college days with a rendition of Boosie’s “Wipe Me Down.”

Throughout the evening, UNCF Chicago recognized three honorees that believe in historically black colleges and universities mission, vision and contribution. Those honorees included the Chicago Cubs organization as a corporate honoree, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle as a Legacy honoree, and Marcus Bullock as an alumni honoree. 

In the spirit of pushing the culture forward and making space for the next generation of leaders, UNCF Chicago inducted its second class of “Millennial Masterminds.” This distinction recognizes 13 creative homegrown professionals and rising influencers who are paving the way through their prospective fields of nonprofit, business, entrepreneurship, education, governmental affairs and more. 

Inductees Spencer Nabors, Khary Armster, Kristina Wynne, Sierra Davis, Nathalie Smith, Astin Hayes, Daryl Wilson, Arika Linton, Morgan Smith-Williamson, Danielle Gilliard, Derrick Christian II, Lamariah Smith and Justin Cunningham personify brilliance, fortitude, and imagination. 

UNCF Chicago continues to make space to celebrate, recognize and prioritize HBCUs and those who aid in pushing them forward.

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