UT Honors Students Lead Anti-Discrimination Group

KNOXVILLE — Two University of Tennessee honors students from Memphis are leading the anti-discrimination campus organization they helped create.

Karyn Bailey, a junior majoring in child development, and Brandon Long, a junior majoring in broadcasting, are the president and vice president of the campus organization called Catalyst for Change.

Dr. Thomas Broadhead, director of UT’s honors program, said the two students developed the group in spring of 2001 to present public forums on race, culture, ethnicity or other issues potentially related to discrimination.

“They wanted these issues to be openly discussed in such a way that people would become educated about the different views and perspectives that really pervade our society and certainly the students, faculty and staff on this campus,” Broadhead said.

Catalyst for Change has held public forums on the daily challenges faced by people living with HIV and AIDS, discrimination faced by African-Americans, and the social aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Karyn Bailey said six events are scheduled for the fall semester, including a visit by speakers from the Highlander Center in New Market, Tenn., who will tell students of East Tennesseans’ contributions to civil rights in the 1960s.

“I’m very happy with the way the campus has responded,” Bailey said. “We have one event a month, and we generally get 50 to 60 students for each event. The students that come give us positive comments and seem to get a lot from our programming.”

For more information on Catalyst for Change, visit the group’s Web site at: http://web.utk.edu/~cfc/.