The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Commission for Blacks

2014–2015 Events

Multicultural Welcome Reception

August 28, 2014

Jamesia Terry, Secretary of the UT Chapter of the NAACP

The Multicultural Welcome Reception was a wonderful success! We had just around 90 attendees and the evening was full of meaningful contributions from our students, faculty, and staff.

See photos here

20th Anniversary of the African American Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame induction ceremonyInductee: Dr. Marva Rudolph
Saturday, October 11, 2014
9:30 AM reception, 10:00 AM Ceremony
Black Cultural Center

The African American Hall of Fame Award began in 1994 to recognize African Americans who have made profound contributions to African Americans at the University of Tennessee. The award is intended to acknowledge those who are among the “firsts” at UT and have made a significant impact. Dr. Rudolph will be honored for her decades of distinguished service, leadership and advocacy for a diverse and inclusive campus. She worked in the areas of diversity, inclusion and human rights for over thirty years, and she left a lasting legacy at the University of Tennessee.

Trailblazer Series: Theotis Robinson


Trailblazer Series: Rita Geier


UTK Trailblazer Series | University of Tennessee | Rita Geier from The Volunteer Channel on Vimeo.

Retention of African Americans in Knoxville Initiative Workshop


Retention of African Americans in Knoxville Initiative Workshop

A workshop aimed at gathering Knoxville constituencies, such as African American entrepreneurs and leaders, local city employees, and University of Tennessee faculty, staff, students and alumni to collaboratively brainstorm and develop strategic tactics that address specific barriers to the retention of African American professionals in Knoxville


Saturday, November 8, 2014, 8:00am to 1:00pm


UT Black Cultural Center
University of Tennessee
1800 Melrose Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996


Registration is now open:

Download Flyer

One of the commissions’ long-term goals is to affect the retention of talented African American professionals in the Knoxville area. In accordance with that goal, we hosted a panel luncheon in November 2013 where Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knoxville Area Urban League President Phyllis Nichols, UT Vice Chancellor for Diversity Rickey Hall, and Community Development Leader Buzz Goss discussed the many aspects of this goal and laid the groundwork to develop thoughtful solutions. You may view this panel discussion at

To continue this important work, we will host a half-day workshop on November 8, 2014. The workshop will involved small groups brainstorming and developing tactics to retention challenges. Leadership Knoxville will facilitate the workshop and the small group work. Come ready to roll your sleeves up and contribute to meaningful dialogue.

From this half-day workshop, we aim to consolidate and formalize the strategic tactics presented by local community members into a multiyear strategic plan for the retention of young African American professionals in Knoxville to be executed by the Commission for Blacks and the Office for the Vice Chancellor for Diversity in partnership with local government and civic entities.

A light breakfast and luncheon will be provided.

Open Forum: Ferguson Report Back

Ferguson meeting

The Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Diversity is hosting an open forum on ​Ferguson: Report Back on November 19, from 6:30-8 in Alumni Memorial Building (AMB) 27, in which students will share a report from a recent trip to Ferguson, Missouri. The second half the event will focus on dialogue as to local Knoxville and East Tennessee race relations.

Download Flyer

Black Issues Conference

Black Issues Conference flyer

Saturday, February 7, 2015
9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Registration opens November 10, 2014, and you can view the call for proposals now.

Trailblazer Series: Valisia LeKae


Trailblazer Series: Mark Dean




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