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UIC Bowl-A-Thon Closes Black History Month

People bowling at UIC's bowling alley. Group pictures, bowlers, getting ready to bowl, and Susan Poser holding a bowling ball

The roar of the Flames rolled through Student Center East as UIC closed out Black History Month with its second annual Bowl-a-thon! Co-sponsored by the African American Advisory Council and the Office of Diversity, UIC opened its doors to the community for a night of fun and food. In her opening remarks, Provost Poser welcomed the congregation of community members, staff, faculty and students and praised counselors of the African American Academic Network (AAAN) and CHANCE Program for their work connecting UIC students to the greater Chicago community. Johnathan M. Banks, Director of Ministry of Apostolic Faith Church, welcomed students on behalf of the African American Advisory Council and reaffirmed their drive to support the success and well-being of the Black community at UIC. Johnathan helped fill the lanes alongside his fellow council members, Malik Nevels of the Safer Foundation and Ernest Sawyer of ERS Enterprises. Vice-Chancellor Rex Tolliver, as well as several directors of cultural centers, academic advisors and several academic support staff were also present.

All fitted with their own commemorative t-shirt and buzzing on pizza and drinks, staff and faculty shared friendly competition with prospective and current students. Kayla and Miles from Evergreen Park High School heard about the event through their school counselor and were excited to visit campus for a fun event. Undergraduates Nicole, Kiera, and Isabella, learned about the event through Instagram and were happy about being able to see faculty and staff in a more casual and relatable light. Justin Carmichael, a senior who helped found the bowl-a-thon, talked about the Black History Month committee’s support for the event.

Along with the excitement of the moment, the spirit of the evening was also one of reflection, as several monitors in the alley highlighted the contributions and achievements of African Americans. Some slides featured familiar historical figures like Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr., but others recognized more modern icons such as actor and comedian, Jordan Peele, who, in 2017, became the first black filmmaker to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Although Black History Month is all wrapped up for 2020, the Office of Diversity has more big plans for the campus. To learn more about the Diversity and to make sure you don’t miss the next Bowl-a-thon, visit