B.L.A.C. Gala Celebrates Star Students and Faculty
The Black Advancement Leadership Coalition (BLAC), which is been committed to improving the experience of all African-Americans attending UCI, hosted their annual gala on Friday, May 4. Students and faculty attended the formal event to celebrate their achievements.
“BLAC Gala [is] an organization whose main goal is to offer a platform for excelling students, alumni, faculty, and staff to be recognized by the community,” said event committee member Bryant Parker. “We also extended the opportunity for surrounding communities to share in this formal celebration.”
In its tenure at UCI, BLAC has raised over $100,000 in scholarships, highlighted and recognized a number of astonishing faculty and staff members, and hosted hundreds of students at their annual gala. This year, the event was dedicated to the passing of the “father of black psychology,” Dr. Joseph L. White, an influential figure within the black community at UCI and beyond. Attendees were required to wear at least one white item in his honor. The event was truly a “Night for the Stars.”
Dinner and dessert were served as recipients of scholarships from BLAC were announced at the gala. The program featured a captivating performance from Inaijsa Betts and a motivational speech from keynote speaker Dr. Roderick Seamster.
“BLAC raises scholarship funds annually,” said Parker. “Being our 16th year, it is our ambition to provide more financial assistance and community recognition than ever.”
Everyone took away a different experience from the event. Second-time attendee Trejon Adams enjoyed getting to socialize with different individuals.
“My favorite part was talking to the various black faculty during the dinner portion and seeing everyone receive awards,” he said.
Joseph L. White Scholarship recipient Kyla Chaney said that her favorite part was basking in the overall elegance of the event.
“The best part was seeing beautiful black excellence! Everyone was dressed to the nines, there was elegant decor, and they were giving away scholarships,” Chaney said. “It was nice to see how people who are able to give out money, give out money and [are] able to give back to those who need extra money to thrive in school. It was good for a cause, and I feel like, especially being a first-year, it was nice to see people of every class get them.”
The event ended with everyone — faculty, and students — on the dance floor rejoicing in the successfulness of the event and the positivity of each others’ presence.