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UT’s College of Communication and Information will honor actor, filmmaker, and humanitarian Cylk Cozart with the 2018 CCI Diversity Award at its 10th annual Experience Diversity banquet on Friday.

Cylk Cozart
Cylk Cozart

The event will take place at 7 p.m. at Buddy’s Banquet Hall in Knoxville.

Cozart, who will deliver the banquet keynote, has appeared in films such as 16 Blocks, Eagle Eye, Adrift, and White Men Can’t Jump. He has more than 30 films and 20 television shows to his credit.

Cozart has used his celebrity status to advocate for and support numerous charities and humanitarian events including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and many others. He is the co-founder of and serves as its CEO and co-chairman.

He is also co-chairman of P.O.V. Planet, which created and produced the all-star celebrity video Spirit of Life for the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Spirit of Life earned a Videographer Award, Aurora Award, NY Film Festival Bronze Award, and Telly Award.

Born in Knoxville to a Native American mother and an African American father, Cozart graduated from King College in Bristol, Tennessee, with a degree in child psychology. After college, he pursued a successful modeling career in Miami and made his feature film debut in Warner Bros.’ Blue Skies Again (1983).

Cozart has been the recipient of many awards, including the National Urban League’s Whitney M. Young Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award and the David R. Richardson Jr. National Nation Builder Award.

The banquet is the annual fundraiser for CCI’s Diversity Student Leaders Society. Proceeds from the banquet are used to support DSLS student field trips and other activities.

For more information, contact Beth Cole at or 865-974-1540.