Bringing together the Knoxville community, the Rotary Club of Knoxville honored the Beck Cultural Exchange Center with the 2017 RCK Peace Award Tuesday afternoon.
The dedication service happened at the Knoxville Museum of Art's Rotary Peace Garden.
"Receiving this award for the Beck Center is truly an honor, and it's humbling," said Renee Kesler, Beck president.
The award comes about a week after one of the founders of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, Margaret Gaiter, died. Gaiter was remembered during the receiving ceremony.
The center was established in 1975 and has since been collecting local, historical African-American artifacts. The Rotary Club of Knoxville says the Beck Center focuses on what draws communities together and embraces differences.
"Certainly Beck is the place where African-American history and culture are preserved, and in so doing, it's the place where I believe we unite our community." Kesler said.
Allen Pannell, Rotary Club of Knoxville president, says this is a way to promote optimism, knowledge and opportunity within the community.
"Our club has a lot around the world that impacts peace, but we didn't have a specific award for that," Pannell said.
"We wanted to bring Knoxville's version of a Nobel Peace Prize, an award local to Knoxville persons and groups that make great contributions to our great community."