Joe Clark: Subject of 'Lean on Me'

In September 1982, during the first day of class at Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, a student was stabbed. In 1983, things would be different. The school's new principal, Joe Clark, would be the reason why. Clark held high expectations for students, challenging them to develop habits for success and confronting them when they failed to perform. On a single day during his first week at Eastside, Clark expelled 300 students.  He believes that 'every day, pride in self and school must be reinforced. Every day, the value of academics must be demonstrated.' And every day, Joe Clark demonstrates, through his own shining example, how commitment to youth can make America's future leaders better citizens and better people.

Clark -- whose story was told in the film 'Lean on Me' -- will be at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on Feb. 11 to share his strategies and successes. Sponsored by the Chancellor's Council for Diversity and Interculturalism, Clark will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the University Center auditorium.

His speech will be preceded by a 6 p.m. panel discussion on 'Diversity: Are We There Yet?' Panelists will include members of student organizations.

'Lean on Me' will be shown three times prior to Clark's appearance. All of the showings are free and open to the public.

  • Feb. 4, 6 p.m., University Center Auditorium
  • Feb. 8, 6 p.m., 251 Hodges Library
  • Feb. 10, 6 p.m., 253 Hodges Library

For more information about Clark and this event, please see

Thursday, 11 February, 2010


JJ Brown

Phone: 865-974-3179
Website: Click to Visit

University Center Auditorium

1502 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996

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