Actor Cobe Williams to Speak at JJC as Part of Black History Month Program

Actor Cobe Williams, best known for his role in the award-winning documentary, “The Interrupters,” will speak at Joliet Junior College on Feb. 21 at 10:30 a.m. in the U-Building Auditorium as a part of the college’s annual Black History Month program, and the community is invited. All of JJC’s Black History Month events are open to the public and will take place on the Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.

Actor Cobe Williams is pictured in "The Interrupters."

Williams will speak about violence in the black community, how to stop it and his role in “The Interrupters.” His presentation, which will last about an hour, is also a part of a bigger program involving visiting high school students who will delve deeper into the conversation later in the day.

Another original JJC event, called “Black People and Africa”, is a public discussion that will explore the differences between being a United States-born African-American as opposed to a native born African who has immigrated to the United States. Cultural differences in lifestyle will be highlighted in this discussion, taking place on Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. on the Bridge.

Other popular events of the month include “Harlem Nights” on Feb. 13, an afternoon where those in attendance will get to experience what it was like during the Harlem Renaissance; and a gospel choir concert by both the JJC and Joliet Gospel choir, on Feb. 27.

“I think African-Americans have contributed greatly to our history, and oftentimes we don’t get a chance to celebrate and recognize those contributions,” said Brandon Jackson, JJC multicultural retention specialist. “So, with Black History Month, we get an entire month where the school is able to bring some of these contributions to the forefront.”

For more information about Black History Month at JJC or any of the events, contact Carolyn Powers, secretary of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, at or at 815-280-6709.

The full schedule for the activities during Black History Month at JJC is as follows:

Feb. 11: HIV in the Black Community

  • Noon – 1 p.m., The Bridge
  • This event will include a panel discussion with Will County community agencies about HIV in minority communities.

Feb. 13: Harlem Nights

  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., The Bridge
  • Students, staff, and community members are welcome to attend this artistic exploration of the African-American Harlem Renaissance. Video clips, open mic sessions, light refreshments, and guest performances will be featured.

Feb. 14: Know Your Heritage Game

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., The Bridge
  • Participants can test their knowledge of black history in this trivia game event.

Feb. 20: The History of Africa   

  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., The Bridge
  • JJC’s Dr. Senu-Oke will give an informative presentation about the history of Africa.

Feb. 21: “The Interrupters” Cobe Williams Presentation

  • 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., The U-Building Auditorium
  • Cobe Williams, an actor from the award winning documentary, “The Interrupters,” will speak about violence in black communities.

Feb. 26: Motown Karaoke

  • 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., The Bridge
  • Students, staff, and community members are invited to sing their favorite Motown tunes in front of an audience.

Feb. 27: Joliet Gospel Choir

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., The Bridge
  • JJC and Joliet Gospel Choirs will put on a performance for community members, students, and staff.

Feb. 28: Black People and Africa

  • Noon – 1 p.m., A-1108
  • This public discussion will focus on the complex relationship between African Americans and African immigrants living in America.


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