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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee Black Faculty and Staff Association will conduct its 12th annual Professional Development Conference April 28.

The program, which focuses on -Equity, Diversity and Higher Education,- will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in 132 College of Law.

UT President J. Wade Gilley is scheduled to provide introductory remarks. Gilley, nationally recognized for his contributions to diversity, will speak on his views and vision of equity and diversity for the future.

The conference agenda also includes members of the president’s staff and academic deans as panelists during morning panel discussions on diversity issues.

Dr. C. T. Vivian, a motivational speaker, will present a luncheon address on “Equity and Justice for All: The Importance or a Strong African American Presence in Higher Education.”

Vivian chairs the Black Action Strategies and Information Center (BASIC), an Atlanta-based human rights group. A former dean of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, N.C., Vivian worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

He will be honored at a reception following the conference at the Beck Cultural Center in Knoxville. The reception is part of a national celebration to recognize the 40th anniversary of the national Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Vivian is a former member of the group.

The conference is free and open to the public and UT staff and faculty. Deadline for registration is April 25.

For more information, contact the UT Black Faculty and Staff Association at 974-2498 or bfsa@utk.edu.