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2014 CCI Diversity Award & CCI Experience Diversity Banquet

Alice Wirth, Avon Rollins, Robin Wilhoit, Phyillis Nichols, Theotis Robinson, Dean WirthThe College of Communication and Information presented WBIR-TV News Anchor Robin Wilhoit with the 2014 CCI Diversity Award as the highlight of its 6th annual Experience Diversity Banquet. Wilhoit received the award for her passionate support of issues involving women and children, including WBIR-TV’s “Buddy Check 10” Breast Cancer Awareness Program and for her service to several Knoxville community organizations including Variety of East Tennessee, A Children’s Charity, The Next Door, and The University of Tennessee School of Nursing Advisory Board.

As part of her keynote address, Wilhoit shared her passion for diversity with the 156 students, faculty, staff and community members in attendance by underscoring that differences between us should be celebrated while also recognizing that, in spite of our differences, we all have a great deal in common. She used Coca-Cola’s “Big Game” Commercial 2014 – America Is Beautiful to illustrate her point  

Wilhoit was joined at the banquet by three past-year recipients of the CCI Diversity Award: recently retired UT Vice President for Diversity Theotis Robinson (2009); President and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League Phyllis Nichols (2010); and long- time director and CEO of Knoxville’s Beck Cultural Exchange Center Avon Rollins (2012). 

This years’ Experience Diversity Banquet raised over $3,500 to support Diversity Student Leaders Society (DSLS) field trips and scholarships. It was organized by DSLS Director Alice Wirth, DSLS Assistant Director Nick Meade and DSLS members.  The evening provided a variety of cultural performances including an inspirational opening skit featuring all DSLS members (You Are Amazing, Just the Way You Are), a spoken word poet, and several musical performances to illustrate and celebrate diverse talents and cultures.  Attendees enthusiastically embraced the wide-range of entertainment and many declared this the best Experience Diversity Banquet to date. For a complete list of CCI’s 2014 Diversity Banquet sponsors and contributors see the 2014 Experience Diversity Banquet Program.

To learn more about CCI’s commitment to diversity and the activities of CCI’s Diversity Student Leaders Society (DSLS), see