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2019-2020 Co-Chairs:

James Williams, Assistant Professor, Retail, Hospitality, & Tourism Management

Javiette Samuel, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Division of Diversity and Engagement


2019-2020 Membership

Dorian McCoy, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy

Thura Mack, Professor, John C. Hodges Library

Dawn Duke, Associate Professor, Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures

Derek Alderman, Professor, Department of Geography

Melanie Dixson, Assistant Professor, John C. Hodges Library

Brook Dennard Rosser, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Knox County Schools


Jioni Lewis, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Joann Jeter, Assistant Director, Center for Career Development

Tenea Lowery, Assistant Director, Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life

Ryessia Jones Russell, Assistant Director, Haslam College of Business

Tanisha Jenkins, Director, Office of Multicultural Student Life

Izetta Slade, Senior Director, Human Resources

NaQuiana Moore, Student Success Advisor, Herbert College of Agriculture

Merce Poindexter, Associate Director, Thorton Athletics Student Life Center

Trey Hobson, Library Supervisor II, John C. Hodges Library

Madison Woods, Undergraduate Student, Psychology

Jevon Reeves, Undergraduate Student, Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sports Studies

Stefani Benjamin, Assistant Professor, Retail, Hospitality & Tourism Management

Cory Major, Director, TRIO Student Support Services

Courtney Cunningham, Graduate Student

Shaundra Cunningham, Graduate Student, Geography

Sasha Hines, Graduate Student

Torey Sanders, Undergraduate Student, Geography

Thomas Andrew da Silva Zeigler, Undergraduate Student, Political Science-Laws and Courts Concentration

Jordan Kele Atkins, Undergraduate Student, Statistics

Nadia Powell, Undergraduate Student

Faith Harris, Undergraduate Student, Public Relations

Ex-Officio Members

  • Mary Lucal, Representing Vice Chancellor for Human Resources ♦
  • Gary Skolits, President of Faculty Senate ♦
  • Erin Darby, Chair of the Council for Diversity and Interculturalism ♦
  • Rachel Chen, Chair of the Commission for Women ♦
  • Lettie Flores, Co-Chair of the Commission for LGBT People ♦
  • Emoni Degon, 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.