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KNOXVILLE — More than 150 University of Tennessee, Knoxville, students will pitch in around the community to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., on Saturday, Jan. 23, with the campus’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

UT students are invited to participate in the TeamVOLS event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration will run from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Register online by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to participants, and a limited number of T-shirts will be available.

At 9 a.m., students will be bused to service projects throughout Knoxville, including Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries, Ijams Nature Center, Habitat for Humanity, the Florence Crittenden Agency, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Love Kitchen, Ronald McDonald House and others.

Students will return to campus for lunch and to hear from keynote speaker Avon William Rollins Sr.

Rollins, director and CEO of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center Inc. in Knoxville, has a long history of civil rights involvement. A co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Rollins was associated with King as well as Malcolm X. As a result of his civil rights activities across the South, he has been incarcerated approximately 31 times. He has assisted in creating more than 20 grassroots community development organization minority leadership programs in more than 10 cities in the southeastern United States.

Along with his role at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, Rollins is president and CEO of Knoxville-based Rollins & Associates Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in economic development and labor relations. He also is on the board of the East Tennessee Cancer Society and is an advocate for proactive health care. He has received accolades and recognition from various national, state and local organizations including the National Business League and the Booker T. Washington Foundation. The National Civil Rights Museum of Memphis, in cooperation with the East Tennessee Minority Professional Association, dedicated its annual Heritage Award in honor of him. He has twice received the Minority Business Advocate Award presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

TeamVOLS serves as UT Knoxville’s volunteer center, aiming to provide students with active community service and outreach opportunities in order to become proactive participants in their communities. Along with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, TeamVOLS coordinates alternative spring and fall break trips, outreach with community organizations and many more service opportunities. To learn about TeamVOLS programs, visit

C O N T A C T :

Rebekah Winkler (865-974-8304,