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KNOXVILLE — University of Illinois at Chicago professor John D’Emilio will visit the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, to speak about the life and legacy of civil rights leader Bayard Rustin.

“Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin” will begin at 7 p.m. in the University Center Crest Room. The event is free and open to the public.

D’Emilio teaches history and women’s and gender studies. Before the University of Illinois at Chicago, he taught at George Washington University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He earned his doctorate from Columbia University in 1982, and was named a Guggenheim fellow in 1998 and a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow from 1995 to 1997. He is a former co-chair of the board of directors for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and was the founding director of its policy institute.

D’Emilio has authored or edited several books, including “Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States”; “Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America”; “The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture”; and “Lost Prophet: The Life and Time of Bayard Rustin,” the basis of his lecture at UT.

Rustin was a civil rights activist widely known for his role in organizing the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and for counseling Martin Luther King Jr. on the techniques of nonviolent resistance. He became an advocate for gay and lesbian rights later in his career, and his homosexuality made him a target for attacks from government officials and agencies, as well as from interest groups. Before he died in 1987, Rustin wrote that the factors that primarily influenced his career were “nonviolent tactics, constitutional means, democratic procedures, respect for human personality and a belief that all people are one.”

D’Emilio’s visit to UT Knoxville is sponsored by the Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People, which advises on planning, implementation and evaluation of university programs, policies and services designed to improve the status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on the Knoxville campus. For more information on the Commission for LGBT People, visit Other major sponsors include Ready for the World, the Commission for Blacks, the United Residence Halls Council and the Issues Committee.

C O N T A C T :

Rebekah Winkler (865-974-8304,