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Diversity Committee

UT Libraries Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes August 18, 2017

Present: Thura Mack, Melanie Allen, Megan Venable, Elizabeth Greene, Peter Fernandez, Anne Hulse, Sara Green, Sarah Holt, Sarah Mallory, Keila Zayas-Ruiz, Michelle Brannen.


Reflections from recent conference – Elizabeth, Melonie and Thura recently presented at a conference on diversity, the National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL) in Atlanta, which was attended by about 30 individuals. All three shared their thoughts on their successful performance. A similar conference will be in Albuquerque in 2018


Updates on Lunch and Learn – Tuesday, September 26 Michelle and Jioni will present at noon in Mary Greer on Oppression vs. Privilege. Thursday, October 26 at noon in Mary Greer Billie and Clay will present on Stress Management.


Dr. Michelle Christian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Tennessee. She has been at the University of Tennessee since fall 2013. She teaches and conducts research on race, racism and global inequalities. Most recently, she co-created the curriculum for the Department of Sociology’s new concentration are in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.


Dr. Jioni A. Lewis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research is focused on the influence of subtle forms of racism and sexism on the mental and physical health of women of color. Dr. Lewis teaches courses on topics including: African American psychology, multicultural psychology, and social justice theory and practice. Dr. Lewis’s university service includes serving on the Chancellor’s Council on Diversity and Interculturalism and the Commission for Blacks. Dr. Lewis and Dr. Christian co-founded the Critical Race Collective in Fall 2013, which is an interdisciplinary research group focused on critical race studies in research, teaching, and service to the university.


Billie Amatus-Salaam is the Wellness Coordinator for General Wellness Promotion at the Center for Health Education and Wellness. She completed her Master in Public Health in 2015 with a focus on sexual health and college student health. In her role at UT she focuses on cold and flu prevention, stress reduction, sleep promotion, nutrition, and sexual health.


Clay Culp is a clinical social worker and therapist at the Student Counseling Center. He earned his master’s in social work at UT and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Social Work degree at UT. His doctoral research is about suicide prevention.


Updates for International Festival (volunteer sign up at September meeting. The Festival will be held Friday, September 29 from 10 AM – 2 PM.


Bon Voyage to Keila – best wishes in Florida!


Committee assignments – volunteers for vacant assignments: Michelle agreed to take over website updates, and Sarah Mallory and Sara Green will take over survey duties at the conclusion of each Lunch and Learn.


Announcements – November 1 is Day of the Dead in the Library. Be looking for volunteer sign-ups for it.


In our October meeting, we plan to ask a faculty senator to come to our meeting to discuss free speech on campus.


Please mark your calendars for the remaining 2017 meetings:

September 21 – 605 conference room

October 19 – 605 conference room

November 16 – 605 conference room

December 14 – 650 conference room


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