Excursion – the word itself screams adventure.
On Saturday, the Multicultural Center will take 30 students on its biannual "In Your Own Backyard" Diversity Excursion.
Starting at 9 a.m., the group will depart from the Black Cultural Center and venture to local destinations such as the McClung Museum and the Beck Cultural Exchange Center.
The highlight of the experience is expected to be an evening visit to the HoLa Festival in downtown Knoxville, where students will experience Hispanic culture and learn about resources the event offers.
After a full day of activities and information, the trip will conclude with debriefing and short discussion about the day's events.
Additionally, the Office of Multicultural Student Life intends to facilitate discussion about race and diversity within the UT community.
Denise Harris, the program director for Diversity Excursions, views the program as a way to help students find new cultural attractions in Knoxville.
"Students will be subjected to vendors and resources from communities they have never thought to seek out," Harris said. "It will become an eye opening and meaningful experience."
The Diversity Excursion always has a stop at the HoLa Festival, but this semester's organizers sought to integrate African American and other cultures into the excursion as well.
"This in fact shows the university's efforts to address the needs of those populations that have been most affected by systemic exclusion in inequity", said Rickey Hall, Vice Chancellor of Diversity.
Harris believes programs like the Diversity Excursion will fuel appreciation for diversity on campus.
"It's the responsibility as a student and community to identify what makes us individuals but respect and recognize our differences to find a commonality to grow and learn within our communities," Harris said.
Only the first 30 registrants will participate in the excursion. For the registration form or more information, please click here.