Through events like this, UNCF—now in its 80th year—is changing the HBCU narrative across the nation by helping more students get to and through college

CHICAGO, IL, June 05, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — Four-time Grammy Award-nominated R&B/neo soul singer-songwriter and actor Eric Benét will take the stage, no doubt setting hearts aflutter in the process, to provide the evening’s entertainment at the 2024 UNCF (United Negro College Fund) “A Mind Is…” Gala on June 15, at 7:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr. The event is a part of UNCF’s 80th anniversary celebration.

Renowned for his romantic music, Benét will croon tunes from his extensive discography of number one and top 20 hits which includes “Georgy Porgy” with Faith Evans, “The Last Time,” “Love Don’t Love Me,” “Spiritual Thang,” and the iconic love song “Spend My Life With You,” with Tamia.

As an actor, Benét has appeared in the TV shows For Your Love, Half & Half, MTV’s Kaya and BET’s hit television show, the Real Husbands of Hollywood. Film credits include Glitter with Mariah Carey, and Trinity Goodheart.

“We are excited to have the talented Mr. Benét perform at this year’s UNCF gala,” said UNCF Regional Development Director Lisa M. Rollins. “He’s been a fan favorite and has been admired throughout his decades-long singing and acting career. Our guests are in for a special, private musical treat,” she said.

The evening will be a night filled with purpose and a resounding call for the Chicago community to join UNCF in supporting education and in recognizing those who have worked tirelessly to uplift the cause. It also will be a fun, festive affair with exquisite dining, dancing, music throughout the evening, and a silent auction.

As a part of the program, Rev. Otis and First Lady Monica Moss of Trinity United Church of Christ will receive the AMI Alumni Award. Ill. Senate Assistant Majority Leader, Sen. Mattie

Hunter (3rd District); Ill. Deputy Majority Leader, Rep. Lisa Hernandez (3rd District); Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer (2nd District); and Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (4th District); will receive the AMI Advocate Award. Corliss V. Garner, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Old National Bank, will receive the AMI Community Award. Target will receive the AMI Corporate Award.

From 2022 – 2023, UNCF awarded 541 scholarships to students in Illinois.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact UNCF at 312-845-2200 or visit

About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. While totaling only 3% of all colleges and universities, UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 15% of bachelor’s degrees, 5% of master’s degrees, 10% of doctoral degrees and 19% of all STEM degrees earned by Black students in higher education. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 50,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on X (formerly Twitter) at @UNCF.

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