The College of Communication and Information’s eighth annual Diversity and Inclusion Week – September 25–28 – featured keynotes by UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, nine panel sessions and a diversity festival.
More than 1,100 people attended the four day event, which dealt with a variety of topics including: mental health and media effects, being comfortable in your own skin, social media and trolling, immigration and respect for the America dream, respect for religion, free speech and politics, disagreeing in a civil fashion, and bridging hidden divides.The theme for 2017 was “Diversity and Inclusion: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”
Participants had the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge through dialogue about diversity and inclusion issues and to share best practices by interacting with leaders and experts from the college, university and community.
UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport delivered Monday’s keynote during which she discussed the importance of diversity to the University of Tennessee and to those who hire UT’s graduates. She also shared her personal journey with respect to diversity and said that since becoming UT Knoxville’s chancellor, she has re-established support for the UT Pride Center and appointed a new Pride Center director. In addition, she has provided funds for Title IX education and training, and appointed a Title IX campus coordinator. She closed her remarks by affirming her commitment to make UT a campus that is open and welcome to all.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero was Wednesday’s keynoter . She recounted many of her experiences growing up in South Florida and the impact those experiences had on her life. As Knoxville’s first female mayor, Rogero has made diversity a hallmark of her administration by implementing diversity and inclusion plans in the city’s hiring, enacting nondiscrimination ordinances, and considering diversity during contractor and vendor selection. See the WBIR-TV story about her keynote at http://www.wbir.com/news/local/knoxville-mayors-overseas-trip-teaches-strong-lessons/479205526. Rogero was the recipient of CCI’s 2013 Diversity Award.
The week concluded with a Diversity Festival that featured an all-campus barbecue along with diverse music, dance, games, a photo booth, and cultural performances. CCI student organizations hosted activities as part of the festival. A complete list of the week’s activities can be found here.