Grace Holt Awards

The Department of African American Studies sponsors an award fund and annual legacy events and  in commemoration of Grace Sims Holt, Professor Emeritus and founder of UIC's Black Studies Program, later to become this department. Professor Holt joined UIC in 1968 as an Associate Professor of Speech and Communications was tasked with establishing the campus Black Studies Program, which she headed from 1974 to 1986. In addition, Professor Holt helped gain recognition for black English as an object of study and consistently pushed for maintaining high levels of standards for students that allowed for alternative evidences of accomplishment.

Past Award Recipients

Please visit our Tumblr page ( to read profiles about our past award recipients.
Grace Holt Memorial Award Grace Holt Departmental Award Honorable Mention
2020 Deziree Brown; Yvonne Livingston; Ogechi Oparah; Gabrielle Powell Jasmine Roberson; Melissa Danikowski
2019 Amanda McDonald LaCreshia Birts
2018 Regina Baker Rasann Booker Jon-Tel Carter; Tauja Merriweather
2017 Taelor Scott Katie Speth Ethalle Thompson
2016 Ash Stephens Travell Williams