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Message from the Chair

I am honored and privileged to have been elected co-chair for the Commission for Blacks. I intend to work hard to ensure that the Commission remains dynamic and forward looking. I intend to live up to the challenge of remaining informed and taking action on concerns specific to the African American community at UT and encouraging African American faculty, staff and student involvement in all aspects of campus life. I will discharge of our duties to the best of our abilities and look forward to working with you this year.

Robert Nobles II


Robert Nobles II

Immediate Past-Chair:

Lili’a Uili Neville

2016-2017 Members

  • Derek H. Alderman, second term
  • Chelsie Allen, first term
  • Susan Benner, third term
  • Charles Clark, first term
  • Alecia Davis, fourth term
  • Tara Davis, first term
  • Dawn Duke, second term
  • Ashley Evans, second term
  • Elexus Franklin, first term
  • Shirley Frazier, first term
  • Sekeenia Haynes, second term
  • Joann Jeter, first term
  • Marcia Johnson Lane, fifth term
  • Tanner Kilpatrick, first term
  • Yolanda Kirkpatrick, third term
  • Jioni Lewis, first term
  • Tenea Lowery, first term
  • Mary Lucal, first term
  • Thura Mack, second term
  • Cal MacLean, second term
  • Ronald Bernard McFadden, fourth term
  • NaQuaina Moore, first term
  • Robert Nobles II, third term
  • Bonnie Ownley, first term
  • Izetta Slade, first term
  • Soren P Sorensen, first term
  • Marshall Steward, second term
  • Mary Lee Stewart, first term
  • Eric Stokes, second term
  • Regina Tisdale, first term
  • Celeste Waugh, first term

Ex-Officio Members

  • Celeste Waugh, Representing Dean of Students ♦
  • Mary Lucal, Representing Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
  • Bruce MacLennan, President of Faculty Senate ♦
  • Tara Davis, Representing President of Black Alumni Council ♦
  • Jennifer Richter, Representing Office of Equity and Diversity
  • Crystal Hardeman, Representing Director of Multicultural Student Life
  • Tanisha Jenkins, Co-Chair of the Council for Diversity and Interculturalism ♦
  • Angela Batey, Co-Chair of the Council for Diversity and Interculturalism ♦
  • Mary Papke, Representing Commission for Women
  • Hillary Fouts, Representing Commission for Women
  • Tyler Lewelling, Representing Commission for LGBT People
  • Judy King, Representative of Exempt Staff Council
  • TBA, Representative of Employee Relations Council
  • Nailah Shireen Hakeem-Brown, Representative of SGA Diversity Committee
  • TBA, Representative of Graduate Student Senate

Note: ♦ denotes Voting Ex-officio members



Commission member

As a member of the commission, you are expected to fulfill the following responsibilities.

  • Serve on one committee OR serve as Chair/Co-Chair of a committee.
    • Provide input to the committee.
    • Assist with the work on the agenda set forth by committee and/or commission.
  • Attend monthly commission meetings.
  • Serve as a community liaison for the campus and Knoxville area African American community.
  • Bring pertinent issues forth to the Commission.
  • Assist with events as necessary (greeting, handing out lunches, set up/take down, etc.)

Committee Chair or Co-Chair

The Commission has four committees: Faculty/Staff/Student Concerns, Bylaws, Awards, and Publicity & Community Outreach. As the chair or co-chair of one of these committees, you are expected to fulfill the following responsibilities.

  • Set a goal for the year.
  • Communicate with and/or hold meetings with committee to achieve goal set forth.
  • Provide updates on committee work to full commission at meetings.
  • Provide year-end report on goal.

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