The Hidden Story of Alexander Graham Bell’s Mission to Dismantle the Deaf World

Richard Marius Lecture Series ‘The Hidden Story of Alexander Graham Bell’s Mission to Dismantle the Deaf World’ – Speaker Katie Booth “As schoolchildren we learn that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. We don’t learn that this is among the least interesting things about him. It takes a book like Katie Booth’s The Invention of Miracles to teach us that. Provocative, personal, and exhaustively researched, Booth’s book is the rare biography that completely alters a famous person’s popular image…Booth has the courage and perspective to portray her subject’s deeply flawed humanity, giving the book its poetry and tragic resonance.” – The Boston Globe   Katie Booth teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared in The Believer,

Todrick Hall

Todrick Hall blends activism and art during a compelling live experience that inspires audiences to believe they can accomplish anything when they take control of their destinies. Raised on a Texas farm, Todrick tapped into his lifelong passion for the performing arts at an early age, landing a role in Broadway’s “The Color Purple.” He subsequently appeared on Season 9 of “American Idol” before being voted off as a semifinalist. Deterred but not discouraged, Todrick found an outlet for his creativity on YouTube, where his original videos have garnered 300 million+ views. He recently joined the cast of the Broadway production “Kinky Boots” in a starring role. Celebrated for his creative self-expression and innovative vision, Todrick takes audiences on a

World Refugee Day

Sunday, June 20th, 2021 is World Refugee Day, an international celebration orchestrated by the United Nations. Officially recognized on June 20th, 2001 (the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees), the day aims to commemorate and honor the grit and strength of those who leave their home countries due to conflict and seek out better lives for themselves and their loved ones.   The UN defines a refugee as “someone who has fled their home due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”. At least 20 people every minute leave their entire lives behind due to oppression and war-torn conditions (,

MLK Commission and the Beck Cultural Exchange Center Juneteenth Celebration

The day will feature a keynote by Daryl Arnold, of Overcoming Believers Church, City of Knoxville Poet Laureate Rhea Carmon, and others. Food trucks will be available on site. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, as there will be a limited number provided. The group will be following CDC COVID-19 guidelines. If you have any questions please email

BHM Weekly Highlight– Frederick McKinley Jones & Dr. Gladys West

This week, the Diversity and Inclusion committee is introducing two more scientists that have contributed to American culture, specifically technology. We are highlighting Frederick M. Jones and Dr. Gladys West for their impact on technology both domestic and global. Jones’s innovations revolutionized the refrigeration industry and Dr. West’s research was vital to modern technology, from GPS in phones to precision farming.