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Supporting Diversity in 2018

diversity at utOne of the top priorities for our college is to support opportunities for inclusive conversations within and about our community. This semester, we are supporting three events that achieve this goal.

PLAY it OUT is a one-semester pilot program that will use socially engaged performance pieces to model civil and inclusive social interactions. The project seeks to openly address issues related to bias and unconscious bias and provide models of communication between groups of people from different backgrounds.

The Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee (SEAT), a student-run organization on campus, strives to foster a comprehensive and academically informed conversation about sex, sexuality, and relationships with the purpose of educating the UT student body and the Knoxville community through innovative, collaborative, and entertaining programming and events. One of these events is the annual Sex Week, which takes place April 9 – 13, 2018. Learn more about the history of this annual weeklong series of events and stay tuned for the 2018 schedule.

Finally, Wade Davis, a former NFL player and advocate for inclusion in American sports, will visit campus March 3 – 5 to speak to students, faculty, and staff. Davis played college football and signed with the Tennessee Titans in 2000, but was cut after the preseason. He made his professional debut in 2001 with the NFL Europe team, Berlin Thunder, and won the World Bowl IX title with the team.

In 2012, Davis came out and publicly spoke about what it was like to be closeted and gay in the NFL. He is the director of professional sports outreach for the You Can Play project, as advocacy organization working to eradicated homophobia in professional sports. In this role, he develops curriculum, programming, training, and conversations focused on inclusion and diversity.

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