The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Commission for Blacks


Gene Mitchell Gray Pioneer Award

2014 Recipient—Brittney Jackson

Britney Jackson

Whether in the classroom or at a meet, Brittney Jackson has a track record of excellence. A communication major from Maplewood, New Jersey, Jackson is a part of the track and field and cross-country teams. Jackson’s teammates, classmates, and coaches all note her leadership abilities and passion for all that she does. One of her nominators stated that Jackson holds herself to a higher standard and exhibits a level of maturity that stands out from the crowd. An SEC Honor Roll recipient, she has been involved in a wide range of leadership and diversity initiatives across campus.

The Gene Mitchell Gray Pioneer award recognizes outstanding, pro-active contributions of students who serve the campus community and promote cultural diversity. The recipient should demonstrate a commitment to the spirit of cultural enrichment and the appreciation of differences on campus.

Hardy Liston Jr. Symbol of Hope Award

2014 Recipient—Amadou Sall

Amadou Sall

For nearly thirty years, Amadou Sall has been one of the most visible and beloved advocates of internationalism and interculturalism on UT’s campus and in the wider community. As a lecturer of Africana studies, Sall has been a leader in promoting diversity and multicultural understanding both within and outside the classroom. He regularly organizes events to broaden peoples’ understanding. Since the 1980s he has worked with the African Student Association on their annual production of Africa Week, and last year he organized an African film series on campus. He also founded and now leads an annual Africana studies mini-term trip to Ghana, and last summer he took students on a service-learning trip to Cape Town, South Africa. Sall has been honored for his dedication with the University Citation for Excellence in Teaching, the Outstanding Adult Educator–East Tennessee College Alliance Award, and the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association’s Outstanding and Dedicated Service Award, to name a few. Sall’s students “learn in ways that far exceed what they can get from any book or film; he challenges them interculturally, intellectually, and personally in all sorts of vital ways,” his nomination noted. He is currently UT’s sole faculty member teaching Fulani, the university’s first and only African language course.

The Hardy Liston Symbol of Hope award recognizes outstanding, pro-active contributions made through serving the educational community and/or the promotion of cultural diversity at UTK. The recipient (s) should demonstrate a commitment to the development of individuals in our society through cultivating and enriching the human mind and spirit. The recipient is openly pro-active in his/her beliefs in a diverse University community, e.g., membership in organizations that promotes diversity, plan/sponsor campus or community wide programs dealing with issues of diversity, multiculturalism and/or appreciation of differences, etc.


Contribute to a big idea. Give to the Commission for Blacks.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System