CLC's Black Student Union wraps up Dunn Museum exhibit

  • Photo of the "Our Voice is Black History" exhibit at the Dunn Museum of Lake County in Libertyville. The exhibit was created through a partnership between the College of Lake County's Black Student Union and the Dunn Museum.

    Photo of the "Our Voice is Black History" exhibit at the Dunn Museum of Lake County in Libertyville. The exhibit was created through a partnership between the College of Lake County's Black Student Union and the Dunn Museum. Courtesy of Hilary Domke

 
 
Updated 12/6/2021 1:38 PM

College of Lake County's Black Student Union recently 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.

 

"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, which 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."

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"I've never had a platform like this before," Mitchell 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 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.

"The feedback and comments were excellent," Phelps said. "Community members were impressed with the students' 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.

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