“There isn’t one person you wouldn’t love if only you knew their story,” says student Caroline Knight, founder of the Humans of UTK Facebook page.
Much like the Humans of New York phenomenon, Knight’s chronicles portray the people of UT—be they student, faculty, staff, bus driver, or construction worker. She takes a photograph and asks a question, which sometimes can lead to an emotional response.
“People are funny creatures and can be extremely boarded up until given a reason to let loose,” says the cinema studies major.
What began as a way to get out of writing articles in her journalism class, ironically turned into even more work but also became an endeavor with a greater purpose.
After she graduates, Knight says she would like to direct or produce documentaries on social justice issues, but she knows she’ll have to work hard to reach that goal.
“No matter what I do after graduation, I was taught to leave places better than
I found them. And that’s all I hope to achieve while I’m still on this planet.”
Browse more of Knight’s work at tiny.utk.edu/HOUTK.
“What do you think it means to be an adult?”
Boy’s older sister: “He probably focuses on just being a kid.”
“America has this idea of what a Black or African American is supposed to be and what they’re supposed to stand for and represent. It’s like we’re supposed to be cool or a tall basketball player or something and sadly “engineer” is not a word that comes to mind when we think of that population. I’m the first generation on my dad’s side to go to college, so I’m just trying to be successful and do my best to leave a positive impact everywhere I go so I can help change that mindset for everyone else.”
“The beginning of education is admitting ignorance. You have to admit you don’t know something in order to learn about it. The reason why you educate yourself is so that people don’t fool and disillusion you. But you’re on your own path. You’re not just going by what people are telling you.”
“Most people with cerebral palsy can’t move or talk. And with the wheel chair, I think a lot of people get the wrong idea as if my life is over and I can’t do anything. But I can’t blame them because that’s how society portrays it sometimes. I travelled across the country to play wheelchair basketball for about 10 years and I get to live life like a normal college kid. Just knowing that is what makes me the happiest.”
“A lot of people don’t see all the hard work that goes into a masterpiece. Art is sweat. And a lot people might go around saying ‘Oh I’m talented!’ but they don’t work, so they don’t achieve anything. Talent is in everyone but all you have to do is outwork them.”