Join us for the 8th Annual Black Issues Conference coordinated by Multicultural Student Life and the UTK Chapter of NAACP! The purpose of this conference is to offer a forum for research and discussion of issues affecting the African-American community. The Black Issues Conference features an outstanding keynote speaker and workshops. This year’s theme is “We Are America: Divided We Fall. Together We Stand.” The legendary Remember the Titans Football Coach Herman Boone will be our keynote speaker. The conference is open to everyone, and is scheduled for Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the Carolyn P. Brown University Center. Registration is open now until Friday, January 25, 2013! The Black Issues Conference is free to all UT students, faculty, staff, and registered participants.
Please check back often, for updates, and more information on the 8th Annual Black Issues Conference. For more information, contact Multicultural Student Life at (865) 974-6861, or BIC@utk.edu
2013 Charlie Lemmons Keynote Speaker: Herman Boone
Football Coach and Motivator
In 1971, racial tensions ran high in Alexandria, Virginia, as three schools were integrated to form T.C. Williams High School. In a story captured by the monumentally popular Disney film Remember the Titans, Herman Boone—portrayed by Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington—faced the challenge of a lifetime in uniting black and white players from previously rival schools in the newly-created Titan football team.
Tensions only escalated when Boone, assistant coach of the former T.C. Williams High School, was named head coach of the Titans, passing over Bill Yoast, the local favorite and successful head coach of the former (and white) Hammond High. Yoast’s supporters were angered by Boone’s appointment, which was seen as a gesture of goodwill to the black community.
Remarkably, the two coaches were able to put aside their prejudices and in doing so, united their players to form a team whose common vision was to respect each other and win football games. At the same time, through the game of football, Boone and Yoast were able to help their small Virginia community put aside their intolerance and join together to support their children. The Titans became one of the best teams in Virginia, compiling a 13-0 record and going on to win the state championship.
Remember the Titans screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard said in a Washington Post interview, “Herman is Shakespearean. The beauty of Herman and what he did was that it was sort of unconscious. If you’d asked Herman when he took over T.C. Williams, ‘Were you trying to make a point with these kids?’ he would have said, ‘No, I just want to win football games.’ He had to get the players to get along to win football games. And it worked for just that reason—because it wasn’t self-conscious. He did something quite beyond what even he realized.”
Herman Boone is now retired but continues to motivate and inspire audiences with presentations on respect, teamwork, community involvement, and the importance of character.
For more information on disability accommodations, contact Multicultural Student Life at (865) 974-6861, email: email@example.com, or visit http://multicultural.utk.edu. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Life, Division of Student Life, University of Tennessee.
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