The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Commission for Blacks


Black @ UT

2014–2015 Issue

This academic year was a very exciting year for the commission. We worked very hard to create programming and initiatives that will create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for African Americans on campus. We partnered with several campus organizations, most notably the Office of Multicultural Student Life and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity.

In conjunction with the Office of Multicultural Student Life, we co-sponsored the Multicultural Welcoming Reception in August 2014 to assist creating a welcoming environment for existing and new administrators, staff and faculty members. We also had the honor of co-hosting and co-sponsoring the African American Hall of Fame Ceremony inducting Dr. Marva Rudolph into the University of Tennessee African American Hall of Fame during Homecoming Weekend on October 11, 2014. Pictures from the ceremony are featured on the back cover of the print newsletter.

This year also marked the inaugural year of the African American Trailblazers Series, co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity. The commission was awarded the Ready for the World Initiative grant for to support this exciting new speaking series.

Robert Nobles II (l) and Lili'a Neville (r)
(L to R) Robert Nobles II and Lili'a Uili Neville, co-chairs for the Commission for Blacks

On January 1, 2015, Dr. Robert Nobles II became the co-chair of the commission and will serve in this position through the 2015-2016 academic year. Lili’a Uili Neville will step down as co- chair in May 2015 after two years of service as the chair of the commission.

We hosted a hands-on workshop focusing on the Retention of African Americans in Knoxville to facilitate engaged and action-oriented conversations and planning surrounding the retention of African American professionals in Knoxville. From this workshop we developed a strategic plan to focus our efforts in the coming years.

We hope you review our work in the 2014-2015 year and are as proud of the good work our organization has done and hopes to do. We consider it a privilege to serve on this commission, to serve this university, and to advance diversity and inclusion at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Lili’a Uili Neville
Robert Nobles III


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