February is Black History Month and serves as a time for reflection and celebration of the achievements and contributions black individuals have made to the history of the U.S. The University of Olivet will host a presentation from Dwayne Gill, comedian, former police officer, former marine and motivational speaker, Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. in Mott Auditorium. Gill will present “Mountains and Valleys: How we can continue to overcome through a life of service.” The event is free and open to the public.
Feeling his job was far too serious for someone considered funny since birth, Gill, a native of Detroit, found an outlet for his humor when he first stepped onto a comedy stage at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase in 1993. After only two more performances, he joined the ranks of professional comedians with his first paid booking at Gadzooks Comedy Club.
“Right then I knew comedy was what I was here on earth for,” Gill said. “And I’d much rather take laughter than a bullet any time.”
Gill’s comedy topics range from current events, the relationship between men and women, to the crazy situations he’s encountered as a police officer. He also motivationally speaks about how to overcome life’s obstacles by empowering yourself to be happy based on his life experiences including surviving PTSD, a teenage son and the streets of Detroit.
As an actor, Gill has appeared in the ABC crime drama “Detroit 1-8-7” and made his big screen debut in the movie “Crave” He has also been a guest on the nationally syndicated “Bob and Tom” radio show.
Gill has shared the stage with well-known comedians such as Jim Norton, Greg Giraldo, Kathleen Madigan, Alonzo Bodden, Rich Vos and “Last Comic Standing’s” John Heffron. Gill reamins one of the fastest rising comics on the national scene today.
Awards for Gill’s comedy performances include “Best of the Fest at the San Luis Obispo Comedy Festival in 2013, the “Wildcard Winner” in the Stand Up its Miller Time National Comedy Contest with Kevin Hart in 2012 and “Best of the Midwest” in Gilda’s Laughfest in 2011.
For more information about this event or additional Black History Month programming at The University of Olivet, call 269.749.7172 or visit the Multicultural Office.