Knoxville’s Community Empowerment Department Director Charles F. Lomax Jr. has announced today that he will step down from the position of director on December 9 to become the president and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League.
“I will always be grateful for Mayor Kincannon’s faith in me and the opportunity to serve as part of her administration. While I will miss my team at the city, I am excited to embark upon this journey and to serve our community in this new capacity. I look forward to working alongside the staff and board of the Knoxville Area Urban League as we empower communities to change lives,” Lomax said.
Lomax will replace Phyllis Y. Nichols, who led the organization for two decades before retiring this year.
Nichols said, “Charles will lead with enthusiasm and commitment to our mission of equity, civil rights, and economic self-reliance for all. He has the ability to bring opportunities for further engagement across all of our platforms and programs in order to deepen the work and impact of the Knoxville Area Urban League in our community.”
Throughout his time as director, the statement notes, Lomax has worked to advance the mayor’s progressive agenda. Among the former director’s accomplishments are the growing the Empower Knox initiative, a hand in launching the first Knoxville Youth Council, a well as “the formation and progress” the the mayor’s African American Restoration Equity Task Force.
Mayor Indya Kincannon said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for Charles to continue to use his skill set to make a difference in our city. I am so thankful for his commitment to equity, empowerment, and fostering partnerships in Knoxville. I wish him the best of luck, and I know we will continue to work together in the future.”
Lomaz graduated Leadership Knoxville in 2021 and has been recognized across the region for his work throughout his tenure as director. He was recently given the MLK Commission’s Diversity Champion Award and was named to the Knoxville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.
According to the City of Knoxville website, “The Community Empowerment Department is the liaison between community organizations and the city, addressing the concerns of these groups. We are working together for meaningful change and a more equitable city.”
Before joining Mayor Kincannon’s administration, Lomax ran for the Knoxville City Council and worked for the Knoxville Leadership Foundation. He received his doctorate at Emory University.
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Kaitlyn Osteen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Send Kaitlyn tips at [email protected]
Photo “Charles F. Lomax Jr.” by Charles F. Lomax Jr. Background Photo “Knoxville Skyline” by Nathan C. Fortner. CC BY-SA 3.0.