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2015 CCI Diversity & Inclusion Week Keynoters

Two keynote speakers will be featured during the CCI 2015 Diversity and Inclusion Week that begins on September 28.

Dr. Jason LakerSan Jose State University Professor and Salzburg Fellow Dr. Jason Laker will deliver the first keynote on Monday, September 28 in CCI’s Patrick Auditorium from 10:10 to 11:05 a.m. Laker has developed and taught courses on subjects of community, identity, and diversity for which he has received recognition and awards. He is a frequent presenter at national and international professional conferences and in 2014 served as the keynoter for UT Knoxville’s inaugural Diversity Summit. “Dr. Laker is an outstanding speaker and will do a great job of kicking off Diversity and Inclusion Week,  said Alice Wirth, chair of CCI’s Diversity and Inclusion Week Planning Committee. “His ability to communicate and challenge will provide our students and faculty with a thought-provoking diversity and inclusion keynote.”

Chris GeidnerThe second keynote speaker is Chris Geidner, legal editor for BuzzFeed in Washington DC. He will speak on Wednesday, September 30 from 5:45 – 6:45 p.m. in Patrick Auditorium. Geidner focuses on LGBT, criminal justice and election law issues and has won numerous awards for his writing. Before working at BuzzFeed, Geidner earned a law degree from The Ohio State University and worked in private practice and in the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Geidner was a panelist at CCI Social Media Week 2014. Wirth commented, “Chris Geidner’s keynote will bring a fresh, contemporary perspective on journalism and social issues to our students from someone who is on the front lines of covering many key news issues. His keynote will be a definite highlight of Diversity & Inclusion Week.”

The theme for CCI’s sixth annual Diversity and Inclusion Week is “Unifying and Transforming Our World.” The events begin on Monday, September 28 and conclude with the annual Diversity Festival in Circle Park on Thursday, October 1.  Eight panels and an open forum will be included in addition to the two keynotes and festival. A full schedule of events will be posted at http://www.cci.utk.edu/diversityweek. Panel discussions will cover a range of topics from self-identity to lessons learned from home to law enforcement and workplace challenges.

“CCI Diversity and Inclusion Week provides our students, faculty, staff and the UT community with an opportunity to come together to gain diversity skills and knowledge and to dialogue about issues in a safe and productive environment,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “It continues to be a very positive force in helping us maintain the type of open and welcoming climate that characterizes a great university.”

Some of the sessions will be live streamed during the week.  Check the online schedule of events for details.