Multicultural Student Life

9th Annual Black Issues Conference

Scandal-LESS: Managing Crisis in Our Community
Saturday, February 1, 2014


Join us for the 9th 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. The conference is open to everyone, and is scheduled for Saturday, February 1, 2014, at the Carolyn P. Brown University Center. Registration will be open on Monday, November 11, 2013, until Friday, January 24, 2014. The Black Issues Conference is free to all UT students, faculty, staff, and registered participants.

Due to overwhelming response, the Black Issues Conference is at capacity, and registration is now closed.


All pre-registered participants must arrive by 9:45 AM to secure place in conference.

2014 Sponsors

Program Schedule

Planning Committee

Learning Outcomes


2014 Charlie Lemmons Keynote Speaker: Judy Smith
Crisis Management Expert & Inspiration for Scandal

The real-life inspiration behind ABC's hit political thriller series Scandal starring Kerry Washington, Judy Smith is the US's premier crisis management expert. As the founder and president of Smith & Company - a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC - she uniquely combines her communication skills, media savvy, and legal and political acumen to serve clients around the world.

Smith honed her skills through her experiences with some of the most historic and sensational events of our time, including the Iran Contra investigation, the prosecution of former DC Mayor Marion Barry, the 1991 Gulf War, the Los Angeles riots, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas, President Clinton's scandal involving Monica Lewinsky, the congressional inquiry of Enron, and the United Nations' and World Health Organization's responses to the SARS epidemic.

She has become the go-to person for corporations, politicians, and celebrities seeking counsel in times of crisis, having consulted individuals such as Monica Lewinsky, Senator Craig from Idaho, actor Wesley Snipes, and NFL quarterback Michael Vick, as well as Fortune 500 companies such as BellSouth, Union Pacific, Wal-Mart, Starwood Hotels, and United Healthcare.

Smith is the author of Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets and her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, National Journal, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, and Fast Company. She regularly writes for The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast and frequently appears on major television networks such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, NBC, ABC, and CBS to offer commentary on topical issues of the day.

Judy Smith received her BS in public relations from Boston University and graduated from the American University Washington College of Law where she was the first African American woman to serve as executive editor of the Law Review.

For more information on disability accommodations, contact Multicultural Student Life at (865) 974-6861, email:, or visit Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Life, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, University of Tennessee.


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