Diversity Committee Membership Guidelines

About us: the University Libraries of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries is committed to recognizing and appreciating the variety of characteristics that make people and communities unique. The UT Libraries puts this concept into action by intentionally creating and sustaining inclusive environments, fostering partnerships, facilitating conversations, and modeling behaviors that promote and celebrate individual and collective achievement.

Our Mission: We strive to provide excellent services, access to information, and outreach to our community of users regardless of: age; cognitive style; culture; ability; economic background; education; ethnicity; gender identity; geographic background; immigration and asylum-seeking status; marital status; physical appearance; political affiliation; race; religious beliefs; sexual orientation. The UT libraries is committed to providing spaces for our community of users to connect, collaborate, and learn inside and outside of the classroom.

Expectations: Members are expected to attend regularly scheduled monthly meetings. Additionally, committee members will be requested to attend subcommittee meetings in support of special projects and/or new initiatives. We expect members to strive to be actively anti-racist and willing to grapple with or confront or address uncomfortable topics relating to social justice.

New member appointees will reflect a balance and broad representation of individuals from various UT Libraries branches, various campus units, staff and faculty.

  • Members will be appointed by the Dean based on recommendations from the Diversity Committee
  • Committee appointments will be for a minimum of two years (Members are welcome to remain on the committee for longer if they desire.)

Procedures for Membership Selection:

The committee will review and make recommendations to the Dean. New members will join the committee as soon as they are appointed.

Adopted by the UT Libraries’ Diversity Committee May 16, 2002.

Revised 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2021.

Current Committee Members:

Thura Mack, Chair. First gen graduate. Member of the Diversity Committee since 2002. Fighting for diversity and inclusion in all realms of our lives creates more accepting and powerful spaces for everyone to thrive. Fun fact: I do yoga in the mornings before work! Macebearer 2021-2022.

Kim Blaylock First Gen grad.  Cataloger.  Diversity Committee member since 2018 because I believe that all of our differences matter, and are indeed necessary for collective growth.

Michelle Brannen

*Ernest Brothers

Shaina Destine

Melanie Dixson

Peter Fernandez

Sarah Funk 

Kelly Gray – Originally from Louisville, TN, she attended Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2001 with a BA in Graphic Design. After a few years working as a graphic designer, she accepted a job with the University of Tennessee Press as a book designer, and fell in love with book design. A family move took her to the University of Illinois Press for 7 years, before “coming home” and back as the main book designer for UT Press in 2015. A member of various American Indian organizations in college, she is a staunch advocate for social justice and equality for all. She currently lives in Nashville with her husband, two sons, two pups, and a one-eyed cat.

Fun fact: she love to renovate old houses and once appeared on DIY to the Rescue for a house renovation in Holston Hills.

Elizabeth Greene member since 2016 and participated in the 10th National Conference of African American Librarians with other committee members.  This took me out of my comfort zone in many areas including making a presentation in front of people I don’t know. Fun Fact: I’ve been to French Polynesia twice.

Sara Green

Trey Hobson

*Lorna Hollowell                                         

Anne Hulse

Cathy Jenkins

Charissa Powell

Ethan Graham Roeder works to bridge the gap between the arts and academia. He has performed across the country as an actor and is interested in how the library can function as a leader for diversity initiatives across departments. MSIS ’19.

Megan Venable – I’ve been part of the Diversity Committee since joining the Libraries in 2012. My favorite activity was helping support a membership drive cookie bakeoff.

*This individual serves as an ex-officio member.

Culture Corner

The 2020-2021 Culture Corner offers resources and materials that explore Native American cultures and traditions.

Painting of woman reclining with poppy flowers