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John Onuoha

UT’s College of Communication and Information will hold its seventh annual Experience Diversity Banquet at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 20, at Bearden Banquet Hall. The event is open to the public.

The keynote speaker is John Onuoha, an inspirational speaker and performer and Air Force Academy graduate. Onuoha is the director of project and product portfolio management at OptumInsight in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Tom Kim

Tom Kim, founder and director of Free Medical Clinic of America, will receive the 2015 College of Communication and Information Diversity Award. Kim, who earned his medical degree from Severance Medical School in Seoul, South Korea, is a passionate advocate for those who cannot afford medical treatment.

In 1993, Kim began offering free health care services after hours through his private practice in South Knoxville, and in 2005 he launched the operation full time as the Free Medical Clinic of America. He has now started five free medical clinics to serve the needy.

In recognition of his contributions to the community, Kim has received many awards, including the 2013 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Commission of Greater Knoxville, and the Jefferson Award from the American Institute of Public Service.

The banquet, hosted by CCI’s Diversity Student Leaders Society (DSLS), is the society’s major fundraiser for the year. In addition to the keynote speech and award presentation, the program will include music, dancing, and various cultural performances.

“The funds raised from this year’s banquet will provide our students with support, experiential programs, and scholarships that will help prepare them for their futures as professionals,” said Alice R. Bowling Wirth, a lecturer in CCI’s School of Communication Studies and DSLS director. “Our goal is to inspire our members to believe in themselves, to become leaders, and to embrace and value the importance of diversity and inclusion in building stronger social, business, and civic communities.”

Tickets for the banquet are $30 each or $300 for a table of 10. To make reservations, contact Beth Cole at or 865-974-1540.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,