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City Colleges of Chicago honor legacy of Timuel D. Black Jr. with inaugural scholarship and fellowship program

Photo caption: Timuel D. Black Jr. 

First-ever Cohort of Scholarship Recipients to be Revealed During the Timuel D. Black Jr. Scholarship and Fellowship Luncheon on June 15, Laura S. Washington to Serve as Keynote

City Colleges of Chicago Foundation, in partnership with City Colleges of Chicago to host the inaugural Timuel D. Black Jr. Scholarship & Fellowship Luncheon on Thursday, June 15, 2023 from 11:30am -1:30pm at Malcolm X College (1900 W. Jackson Boulevard in Chicago). During the event, the first Timuel D. Black Jr. fellows cohort will be revealed.

Timuel Dixon Black Jr. was an American educator, civil rights activist, historian and author. In 1960, Dr. Black worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he came to Chicago to protest housing issues for West Side residents. Dr. Black would go on to help organize thousands of Chicagoans to join the historic March on Washington with Dr. King.

After serving as a Chicago Public Schools teacher, Dr. Black was appointed dean of Wright College in 1969; and held several other roles at City Colleges over the next twenty years, including vice president for academic affairs at Olive-Harvey College and a professor at Loop College which changed its name to Harold Washington College, in part due to Dr. Black’s influence and advocacy.

Dr. Black was instrumental in helping elect Chicago’s first Black Mayor, Harold Washington. He would go on to consult with community organizer, Barack Obama about running for the U.S. Presidency. Black was an inspiring leader whose passion was educating young people about the historical contributions of Black Americans and their incredible impact on our country and society.

The work he accomplished continues to inspire growing leaders who work toward making positive change in our communities. The scholarship and fellowship program was created in his name to support emerging Chicago leaders.

“Dr. Black served as a mentor to some of Chicago’s greatest leaders, including Mayor Harold Washington and President Barack Obama, and now the next generation of leaders will continue his legacy through the Inaugural Timuel D. Black Jr. Scholarship & Fellowship Program,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “It is a tremendous feeling to know that his memory will forever live in our city, in the spirit of service and community.”

“Tim spent his life learning, teaching, and doing. Tim was an activist for social justice nationally and in Chicago. It is my belief  that the participants in this program will continue that legacy,” said  Zenobia Johnson-Black. “When I think about ‘where are the next Tim Blacks,’ my heart is glad, because I can say with confidence, at City Colleges of Chicago! I know Tim, a former City Colleges of Chicago professor and administrator, would agree.”

The Timuel D. Black Jr. Scholarship & Fellowship (TBSF) program supports City Colleges of Chicago students who are forging paths as leaders as they complete their studies and learn more about Chicago social movements and history. During the lunch, guests will learn about the new program which culminates with an educational trip for scholars to Alabama where participants will visit historic sites, a sojourn that was inspired by Black’s remarkable career, lifelong commitment to equity and justice in Chicago, and for his belief in the power of community, history, and activism.

Laura S. Washington will serve as keynote speaker for the inaugural 2023 Timuel D. Black Jr. Scholarship & Fellowship Luncheon. A respected award-winning journalist and social justice advocate, Laura has more than two decades of specialized experience in African American affairs, local and national politics, race, and social justice.  Longtime NBC 5 Reporter, LeeAnn Trotter, will emcee the event.

“We are thrilled to invest in the next generation of community leaders through Timely D. Black Jr. Inaugural Scholarship & Fellowship program, and we thank Zenobia and the entire Black family for the honor and opportunity to carry Timuel’s life legacy to the next generation through it,” said Chancellor Juan Salgado, City Colleges of Chicago. “Investing in our home-grown leaders ensures our communities and the entire city of Chicago will continue to grow and strengthen.”

The luncheon will bring together people from all sectors—community, business, education, and government—to learn about Timuel D. Black, Jr. as an American civil rights activist, historian, author, and educator and administrator at City Colleges of Chicago, and it will culminate with the introduction of the inaugural class of the Timuel D. Black Jr. scholarships.

For more information, to support the scholarship, or join the lunch by purchasing a ticket ($150.00), click here or visit  The event begins at 11:30am and program kicks off at 12:30pm. Free event parking also available at Malcolm X College (1900 W. Jackson Street in Chicago) with validation.

A special thank you to Chicago’s corporate, philanthropic, and civic community for their support including the following:

Zenobia Johnson-Black*

Dr. Walter & Shirley Massey

Andrea Saenz, The Chicago Community Trust

James Reynold, Jr. Loop Capital

History Makers

Juan Salgado and Leticia Almazan

PepsiCo Foundation

Pritzker Traubert Foundation

Social Justice Activists



Civil Rights Champions

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

The Bluhm Family

Peoples Gas

Oppenheimer Family Foundation

Community Advocates

Teri and Bill Lowry

MK Communications

PFM Asset Management

Wynndalco Enterprises LLC

Host Committee Members

Meredith Bluhm-Wolf and William Wolf

Brian Brady, Youth Engage Consulting

Mary Scott Boria, Youth Engage Consulting

Joseph Harrington*, The Mojo Group

Marilyn Katz, MK Communications

Amanda Klonsky

Susan Klonsky*

Bart Schultz*

Oppenheimer Family Foundation

Fr. Michael Pfleger, St. Sabina Catholic Church

Heather Ireland Robinson

The Jazz Institute of Chicago

Monica Stewart*

Almarie Wagner

Laura S. Washington , ABC 7 Chicago and Chicago Tribune

* Denotes a member of the Fellowship Selection Committee Member

Timuel D. Black Jr. Fellow Selection Committee

Bart Schultz

Joseph Harrington

Susan Klonsky

Monica Stewart

Zenobia Johnson-Black

Geovonnie Bates

City Colleges of Chicago’s vision is to be recognized as the city’s most accessible higher education engine of socioeconomic mobility and racial equity – empowering all Chicagoans to take part in building a stronger and more just city. Learn more about City Colleges of Chicago at, and to read more about City Colleges of Chicago 2021-2025 Strategic Plan Framework, visit or click here.

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