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Meet Our Staff

Bonnie Johnson
Director
Pronouns: she/they

Email: bonnie@utk.edu
Phone: 865-974-7803

Bonnie Johnson is an alum of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology) and the University of Southern California (receiving a Master of Social Work). In her role as Director, she oversees all Center programming, advocacy, and facilty operations. Bonnie has worked in LGBTQ+ student services for eight years and has been involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy in higher education for over a decade. Her passion lies in empowering students to be their most authentic selves and decreasing barriers for equity and access for all Volunteers. When she isn’t working, you can find them cheering on Lady Vols basketball, catching up on the Real Housewives, playing with her dogs, or fawning over their plants.

Ask Me About:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Office Oversight
  • Fundraising and Development
  • Campus and Community Partnerships

English Fields
Coordinator
Pronouns: she/her/hers/Kidd

Email: efield12@utk.edu
Phone: 865-974-7803

English Fields is a longtime LGBTQ+ activist and serves as the Coordinator in our office. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Rust College, her Master of Public Administration from Lincoln Memorial University, and is currently pursuing her PhD from Florida A&M University. Previously she served as an All-Star Ambassador for the White House Initiative on HBCUs and the advisory boards of the Highlander Center and Campus Pride. She has also contributed to publications such as Ebony, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and HBCU Digest. She was initiated through the Theta Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Her mission is to create healthy frameworks of masculinity and change. In her free time, she likes to travel, go to museums, collect sneakers, and go to college football games, especially Black college football. Let’s not forget to go to Aubrey’s for a nice meal.

Ask Me About:

  • Educational Outreach, including Safe Zone at UT
  • Peer Mentoring Program
  • QTPOC Initiatives

Samara Carpenter
Graduate Assistant
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Email: scarpe25@vols.utk.edu

Samara Carpenter is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in the Communication and Information program at UT. She completed her undergraduate studies at Alabama A&M University in 2023, earning a bachelor’s degree in Communications media. During her time at A&M, she held the position of 1st vice president of the Sigma Beta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc, and also worked as a sideline sports reporter for the Bulldogs. When she’s not at the Pride Center, you can often find her at the SEC Network office, taking her dog for a stroll around the neighborhood, or dedicatedly hitting the books in the classroom!

Ask Me About:

  • Peer Mentoring Program
  • Safe Zone at UT