KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The United Campus Workers is calling on University of Tennessee system leaders to “unequivocally condemn Nazi hate speech on campuses.”

The call comes after plans were announced Thursday for a white nationalist event at the Knoxville campus. A protest also is planned Tuesday over the event.

Rick Tyler, who ran for Congress in 2016 and gained national attention for billboards that read “Make America White Again,” has rented Alumni Memorial Building for a Tuesday evening event he calls “White Nationalism: Fact or Fiction.”

Since 2016, antisemitic and white supremacist groups have been a growing presence on many of Tennessee’s college campuses, the United Campus Workers said.

At East Tennessee State University, the white nationalist Traditionalist Worker Party and the neo-Confederate League of the South targeted the offices of the Africana Studies Department, Campus Workers said.

The administration at the Knoxville campus allowed a “teach-in” by the Traditionalist Worker Party and last November swastikas and other neo-Nazi symbols were painted on the Rock at the Knoxville campus, the Campus Workers said in a news release.

“United Campus Workers stands in opposition to the hateful ideologies espoused by Neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups, and we stand in solidarity with both the victims of discrimination and those fighting to protect them,” the group said.

“We demand that our presidents and chancellors protect employees and students by keeping hate off our campuses and investigating and prosecuting instances of hate speech and discriminatory harassment,” it said.

Knoxville campus Interim Chancellor Wayne Davis said in a message the university is against white nationalism but for free speech at the same time.

“Hateful rhetoric will not stop us from our work to provide anti-bias education, a review of our policies, and support for all Vols. We will continue to provide updates on that progress,” Davis said.