More than 230 faculty, staff, students, and community partners attended UT’s Community Engagement and Outreach conference Tuesday to discuss community partnerships around topics such as health, housing, homelessness, substance abuse, and education. The theme of this year’s conference, Partnering for Impact, was hosted by the Office of Community Engagement and Outreach, and is an opportunity for members of the community and the university to share knowledge and focus on issues critical to society.
“This is our opportunity to provide a space for dialogue, to explore solutions for some real-world issues we see in the communities we live in,” said Javiette Samuel, UT’s director of community engagement and outreach.
Attendees participated in breakout sessions led by faculty, staff, and community partners, and viewed posters from Engagement and Outreach Mini-Grant recipients.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Jane Jolley, community engagement director for Knox County Mayor’s Office, and Jerry Askew, president of the Alliance for Better Nonprofits opened the conference. All three emphasized the importance of a reciprocal relationship between the community and the university, discussed already successful partnerships, and outlined issues the Knox County community faced that they hoped to address during the conference.
“I am excited to continue to work towards mutually beneficial university-community partnerships with this conference,” said Samuel. “UT will always champion relationships that are participatory, inclusive, empowering, and reciprocal, as we strive towards making a long-lasting impact on our community.”
Raphael Rosalin (865-974-2152, firstname.lastname@example.org)