Very simply, we are a volunteer organization that seeks to build unity within our community through activities, projects, partnerships and collaborations which lift up and celebrate diversity, inclusion and appreciation, and respect for our differences.

We welcome your interest and invite you to contact us if you would like to join our efforts.

From left to right: Chairperson, Dr. Alpha Alexander; The Rev. Scherry Fouke, Member; Anna Tursich, member; Patrice Conway, Vice-Chair; Pauletta Thomas, member; Sami Barile, Founder and Sec/Treas.

From left to right: Chairperson, Dr. Alpha Alexander; The Rev. Scherry Fouke, Member; Anna Tursich, member; Patrice Conway, Vice-Chair; Pauletta Thomas, member; Sami Barile, Founder and Sec/Treas.

The organization was established in 2008 by then city mayor, Barbara “Sami” Barile as the Mayor’s Task Force on Diversity. In 2010 we became part of the Rose Center family of organizations and changed our name to Morristown’s Task Force on Diversity.

Although we are not operated by city government, we continue to maintain significant connection with that entity and see our work within the context of building awareness and relationships within our community as public service and commitment to justice. We believe this is best done by celebrating the gifts that the diversity of our population provides.

Opening ourselves to learn about others and be able to celebrate differences is especially important for our population and history.

Our Mission:

To acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of our community and to promote acceptance and understanding among its residents.

Our Vision:

To make Morristown a city where all individuals are equally valued solely “by the content of their character,” and are welcomed and celebrated for the uniqueness they contribute to the community.

Our slogan is “…Promoting unity within the community”

To download a brochure describing our projects and events, click here


2019 MLK Community Breakfast

The 2019 Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Morristown Task Force on Diversity will be held Monday, January 21, 2019 at First United Methodist Church, 101 E. 1st North St. in Morristown.

Doors open at 7am.

Jersey Girl is catering a buffet breakfast.

Tickets for the event, including the breakfast, are $20 per person. Students and veteran tickets are $10 per person. Tickets go on sale on November 15th and can be purchased from MTFD members and from the Rose Center or from Eileen Bowers or Dr. Alpha Alexander at Student Services office at WSCC. The Rose Center number is 423-581-4330.  The Student Services number is 423-585-6806.

2019 Essay Prompts

Download Essay Prompts
Clara Ester Background Info

Prompt for K-Grade 2

Clara Ester said that for everyone to be treated equal, “it has to be through love, building relationships with other people, and trying to make a difference.” Show/tell how-you can help people be treated equally through “love, building relationships, and trying to make a difference”.

Essay Prompt for Grades 3-5

Read the  attached background  and interview transcript from Clara Ester and then analyze the following quote from the interview. (Our hope is that teachers, parents, and other adults will read and discuss the attached background and interview transcript with the children of this age group and discuss the meaning of the quote with them).

“But amazingly, we talk about that dream, his (Martin Luther King Jr.) dream is our dream.”

What was Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream and how is it still our dream today?

Essay Prompt for Grades 6-8

Read the attached background and interview transcript from Clara Ester and then analyze  the following quote from her.

“So” I ask myself often: Where do we go from here? It has to be through love, building relationships with other people, and trying to make a difference. And speaking out. We  have to start speaking out.”

Clara Ester gives us four ways to help build equality-love, building relationships, trying to make a difference, and speaking out. Which of these do you believe has the greatest impact to build equality for human kind.

Essay Prompt for Grades 9-12

Read the attached background and interview transcript from Clara Ester and then analyze the following quote from her.

In another interview. Clara Ester said that every April 4 since the  assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been difficult for her to bear, in part because pictures from the  assassination scene are re-circulated in the news media. At times she believes it is even more difficult to deal with now.

“Primarily because we have circled back to where we may have been 50 years ago…”

Support or refute Clara Ester’s claim that “we have circled back to where we may have been 50 years ago. . . “. Have we circled back? If so, how? If not, what progress have we  made?

2019 Community Awards

If you know someone who has made significant and public contributions in any of the following categories, we invite you to nominate that person by virtue of a letter of recommendation. Members of the Task Force will review every nomination and select the honorees. They will be presented with their award at the 2019 MLK Community Breakfast and Celebration on Monday, January 21, 2019.

The awards and criteria are as follows:

2019 MLK Community Building Award: 

  • Nominees should be persons who have made significant contributions in building a sense of unity among Hamblen County citizens.
  • Nominees should have publicly demonstrated their ability in building a stronger, more inclusive community through identifiable activities and programs.

2019 MLK Award for Advancing Cultural Awareness

  • Nominees should demonstrate both an appreciation for diversity and inclusion and possess and use his/her/their skills in building and maintaining harmonious cross-cultural relationships through cultural activities or programs. 
  • Nominees shall have accomplished specific cultural initiatives that foster Dr. King’s vision of unity among people of diverse backgrounds.

2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Service and Advocacy

  • Nominees should be persons engaged in providing services and/or advocacy for the human rights of those marginalized because of poverty, race or ethnicity, national origin, gender, age or any other reason.
  • Nominees shall have publicly demonstrated and accomplished goals which have given voice and visibility to those who are marginalized.

Send the name of the nominee, the award you believe he or she deserves, his or her contact information and a letter of recommendation to

Dr. Alpha Alexander
230 Montrose Ave
Morristown, TN 37813-5259

The deadline for receiving nominations is Monday, December 17, 2018