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Apr 18 2024

2024 Grace Holt Lecture and Celebration

April 18, 2024

3:30 PM - 6:00 PM Central Standard Time


301 SCE


750 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60607

invitation graphic. cloudy purple and pink background. woman wearing earrings and yellow shirt. painting of woman wearing a multicolored shirt

Join us for our annual Grace Holt Lecture and Celebration! This event honors the tremendous work and legacy of Dr. Grace Holt, the founder and first director of the UIC Department of Black Studies. It also serves the purpose of engaging our community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni with emerging scholars and pressing issues in Black Studies as well as providing a space for reconnection and networking.

The 2024 Grace Holt Lecture and Celebration will take place in-person on April 18th, 2024 at 3:30pm CST in Student Center East (SCE), Room 301. The awards presentation, keynote lecture and Q&A will be live-streamed. Please RSVP to receive the livestream link.

Following the presentation of the 2024 Grace Holt Awards, Dr. Sami Schalk, will deliver the keynote address entitled: 504 and Beyond: Disability Politics and the Black Panther Party. Drawing from her book, Black Disability Politics, this talk will detail the Black Panther Party’s involvement in the 1977 504 Sit-in and discuss it as a historical example of how Black cultural workers have engaged with disability as a political issue in ways that have sometimes been obscured in Black studies and disability studies alike.

An in-person reception will follow the keynote and Q&A.

The 2024 Grace Holt Celebration is co-sponsored by the UIC Racialized Body Cluster, Black Cultural Center, Disability Cultural Center, and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.




COVID safety:

UIC does not require masking; however, we are asking that all attendees wear a mask. This is an accessibility measure for chronically ill/immunocompromised people and those living interdependently with them. Black Studies will have extra masks on hand the day of the event. During the reception, attendees will be able to unmask briefly to eat refreshments, but we ask that attendees seated for the lecture and Q&A wear a mask if this is accessible to them.

Access Information:
  • CART (live captions) and ASL will be provided.
  • HEPA filters provided by Clean Air Club.
  • 301 SCE is located on the 3rd floor of Student Center East (SCE) Tower and is accessible by elevator. Directional signs will be posted on the day of the event.
  • SCE is near the Blue Line, Roosevelt (#12) bus, Harrison (#7) bus, Halsted (#8) bus, and Taylor (#157) bus. There is a drop-off area on Halsted Street and the Halsted and Taylor Street Parking Structure (760 W Taylor Street) is located across the street at Halsted & Polk. More information on parking and public transit can be accessed here:
  • SCE has all-gender and accessible restrooms available, though many do not have automatic doors.
  • Contact with any other access questions or requests. Black Studies staff will be available during the event for access requests.






Date posted

Dec 15, 2023

Date updated

Mar 8, 2024


Dr. Sami Schalk | Associate Professor of Gender & Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison | Keynote Speaker

Dr. Sami Schalk (she/her) is an associate professor of Gender & Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race and Gender in Black Women's Speculative Fiction (Duke 2018) and Black Disability Politics (Duke 2022). Dr. Schalk’s academic work focuses on race, disability, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture. She also writes for mainstream outlets, including a monthly column called “Pleasure Practices” in TONE Madison. Dr. Schalk identifies as a fat, Black, queer, disabled femme and a pleasure activist.