Haslam’s First Diversity Summit Aims to Bridge Cultural Gaps

The Haslam College of Business’ inaugural diversity summit will take place on Friday, October 28, 2022.

October 18, 2022

With diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of conversations across the nation, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business is hosting a new event encouraging dialogue within its community. The college’s inaugural diversity summit will be held Friday, October 28, from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., in the UT Union, Pilot Ballroom, rooms 262 and 270.

Lunch will be included with the summit, during which the recipient of the 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Award will be recognized. Sponsored by the college and Haslam’s Office of Access and Community Connections (OACC), “Bridging Cultural Gaps” is free to all Haslam students, faculty, staff and administrators. Registration is open now on the summit website, but will close October 24.

Clarence Vaughn, head of the OACC, says the idea of the summit is to bring a more focused and deliberate approach to discussions about diversity already happening across campus. It also will serve as a platform for honest, open and compassionate conversations about how individual and collective actions can help raise awareness of cultural variety and advance cultural connectivity.

“The diversity summit offers a continued educational experience, which supports inclusive practices that build relationships across cultural differences,” Vaughn says. “We invite the Haslam community to join in the process of ensuring that we provide a welcoming and belonging environment for all.”

The summit will include a session on how to build inclusive teaching strategies for faculty and a session on working effectively across cultures for staff. Student sessions will focus on managing cultural differences and having a dialogue across cultures as well as a corporate discussion panel on the relationship between corporate culture and cultural awareness. Ken Bouyer, EY Americas’ director of inclusiveness recruiting, will deliver a keynote address over luncheon. Full details of the summit’s programming can be found on the summit website.

Stephen L. Mangum, dean of the college and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair, says members of the Haslam College of Business community always strive to be thoughtful and inclusive in their everyday activities and noted that the inaugural diversity summit provides opportunities to improve communication on potentially sensitive topics.

“The Haslam College of Business values diversity and inclusivity, and we welcome mores way to build our commitment to DEI,” Mangum said. “Clarence’s team has assembled an impressive lineup of speakers and facilitators. This is a chance for all of us to learn from each other’s shared perspectives and histories in order to grow as an inclusive community.”

Seating is limited, so Haslam community members are encouraged to register soon to ensure in-person attendance. An online option is available.


Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist, rmcnutt4@utk.edu