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Diversity Student Leaders Society Experience Diversity Banquet

February 21 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

The 12th annual Experience Diversity Banquet is on Friday, February 21st at 7 p.m. at Bearden Banquet Hall, 5806 Kingston Pike in Knoxville. The theme of this year’s banquet is “The Power of Connecting!”

If you are interested in attending the banquet, please contact Pamela Durban at, or 865-974-7916.

The purpose of the Banquet is to provide an inspirational diversity experience for students and all other attendees, and to raise funds to support CCI’s DiversityStudent Leaders Program (DSLS). The major goals of DSLS are to provide an open and accepting community for CCI students, to provide tools to help make students marketable for the global workplace, to help students learn to stand out and think independently, and to provide underrepresented students with support, programs and experiences that will keep them in college.

The 2020 CCI Diversity Award recipient and banquet keynote speaker is Robert J. Booker, a civil rights pioneer, author, historian and newspaper columnist. Booker is a graduate of Knoxville College where he served two terms as Student Government President and led the sit-in movement to desegregate lunch counters and movie theaters in downtown Knoxville.

He was Executive Director of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center for 17 years and served on the State Civil Service Commission, the Tennessee Committee on Humanities, and other boards. He was the first black ever elected to the State Legislature from Knox County and served three terms. He was Administrative Assistant to the Mayor of Knoxville for seven years and served a temporary term on Knoxville City Council. He has published five local history books:andwrote weekly columns for the old Knoxville Journal for four years and has done weekly columns for the Knoxville News-Sentinel since 2003.

Booker was elected to the Distinguished Service Chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and is a member of the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Whitney M. Young Lifetime Achievement Award from the Knoxville Area Urban League. Knoxville’s Summit Hill Bridge is named in his honor.





February 21
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
utk cci Experience Diversity Banquet