CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — On Feb. 17, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will celebrate its month-long observance of Black History Month with a ceremony featuring civil war expert John Edwards, III. The event will begin at 10 a.m. at BlueCross’ Cameron Hill campus.

The theme of this year’s Black History Month observance is African-Americans and the Civil War. John Edwards, III, president and CEO of Chattanooga’s African-American newspaper, the Chattanooga News Chronicle, will serve as the keynote speaker at BlueCross’ event. Edwards sits on the board of the Chattanooga History Center and serves as curator and exhibit designer for the Mary Walker Historical and Education Foundation. At the Black History Month event, he will share insights from his extensive research on African-American Civil War history.

“The fact that African-Americans fought on both fronts of the Civil War is often overlooked," said Ron Harris, manager of corporate diversity for BlueCross. “Learning about their lasting legacy from local historian John Edwards will provide an engaging opportunity for our employees to learn about our country’s – and our community’s – rich and diverse history.”

In addition to Edwards’ address, the ceremony will include music performed by BlueCross employees and remarks from Karen Ward, vice president of human resources.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at