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KNOXVILLE — Chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele will speak tomorrow, Sept. 14, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to kick off the “Political Awareness Series” sponsored by the Black Cultural Programming Committee and the Issues Committee. The Political Awareness Series is designed to recognize African-Americans who have made significant contributions to our political systems.

Steele will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Building Cox Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open to students at 6:45 p.m. and to the public at 7 p.m.

A self-described Lincoln Republican, Steele earned a place in history in 2003 when he became the first African-American elected to statewide office in Maryland. During his time as lieutenant governor, he chaired the Minority Business Enterprise taskforce, actively promoting the expansion of affirmative action in the corporate world. An expert on political strategy, fundraising, political action committees and election reform, he is the current Chairman of GOPAC, a state and local political training organization. He has served on the National Federal Election Reform Commission and the NAACP Blue Ribbon Commission on Election Reform. Steele has worked efficiently and tirelessly to establish himself in today’s political system. He has chaired the Republican National Committee since January 2009.

Founded in 1979, the Black Cultural Programming Committee, part of the Office of Minority Affairs, aims to develop programs and activities that enhance public awareness of African-Americans and their accomplishments, encourage the interaction and unity of African-American students, provide opportunities for African-American students to be actively involved in the academic and local communities and serve as a catalyst to motivate African-American students’ self-development, discovery and esteem during their educational careers at the university. For more information about the Black Cultural Programming Committee, visit

For more information about the Issues Committee, part of the Division of Student Affairs, visit

C O N T A C T :

Rebekah Winkler, UT Media Relations (865-974-8304,

Demetrius Richmond, Office of Minority Affairs (865-974-6861,