Diverse Dialogues

PRSA is proud to present a series of video conversations with leaders in the profession about Diversity and Inclusion and the way forward.

As communications professionals, our voices are critical in bringing about change within our organizations. We must be confident in speaking to our leadership teams and pushing forward critical, and often uncomfortable, conversations about current events and social matters among our employees.

Through Diverse Dialogues, we bring together leaders and experts in Diversity and Inclusion to share insights and best practices to guide communications professionals in having critical conversations to enable real change.

Advocacy and Unity Through Times of Change
Rich Ferraro, Chief Communications Officer, GLAAD

Recorded Jun 22, 2021 04:29 PM

June 12th is the five-year marker of the Pulse nightclub shootings, a tragic day in American history. As we remember the 49 angels who were lost, we reflect on how this tragedy has propelled awareness, advocacy and action while recognizing the work that is yet to be done.

This event and the ensuing media attention put a magnifying glass on Orlando. We will hear from Central Florida LGBTQ+ leaders and communications professionals whose lives and lives work changed that day. They will share models for nonprofits, businesses, foundations and government institutions for working together to create inclusive community for all LGBTQ+ people. They will challenge communications leaders to continue a dialogue that will lead to change.

Recorded May 19, 2021 5:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join PRSA Diversity & Inclusion National Committee in celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and recognizing the essential role ALL diverse communities play in advancing the rights, equality, equity and inclusion of the AAPI community and other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color groups. The program will cover strategies and examples of current partnerships built to combat hate.

Our panelists will discuss how to drive unity through coalition building and authentic allyship, and share tactics for PR/Comms practitioners to implement and activate as we seek to keep unity efforts moving forward.

Scott Shirai, APR, Fellow PRSA, Chair & President of Visual Perspectives

Cheryll Forsatz, VP of PR and Corporate Communications at Ferrero USA
Marsha R. Pitts-Phillips, President and Founder of MRPP & Associates Communications, LLC
Jorge F. D'Garay, President & CEO of MXUS Public Relations

Media companies and international broadcasters are addressing inequality in front and behind the camera, microphone and news sites.

What does this mean for communicators? What learnings can we take from this and how does this challenge our current thinking for our clients and our own organizations? Who is the face of an organization, who speaks and appears for the corporate body, who creates your content, shapes your viewpoints and is the lens through which you present the corporate view?

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Diversity & Inclusion Network in conjunction with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Diversity & Inclusion Committee, will explore how broadcast and news organizations are addressing diversity, increasing representation of diverse groups and challenging how the World is presented to viewers.

Moderated by Avril Lee, Executive Committee Chair, Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Recording coming soon!

Recorded Mar 24, 2021 05:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

March is Women's History Month – commemorating and encouraging the observance and celebration of the vital role of women in the PR industry and beyond. Join us during Women’s History Month this year, as we celebrate the women in tech that are disrupting the industry and learn about the latest technology, advancements, and innovations that communications professionals need to know.

During our session, panelists will share perspectives on how technology is impacting the PR industry today and how we can better position tech to advance our industry, whether for clients or in-house. Join the conversation using #PRDiversity and tagging @PRSADiversity.

Recorded Mar 16, 2021 04:28 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

PRSA and PRSSA hosts a special virtual panel to discuss the impact of xenophobia, discrimination and assault on the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The one-hour session provids insight, guidance and shares strategies on how communications/PR professionals and college students can apply themselves, or on behalf of their organizations, to not only speak up in support but to take action.

Carolyn Lok, PRSSA National President & Haniya Shariff, PRSSA, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion
Grace Meng, Congresswoman
Cady Lang, Staff Writer, TIME
Bill Imada, Chairman and Chief Connectivity Officer, IW Group, Inc.

Recorded Feb 23, 2021 5 p.m. EDT

Learn what you need to know about Historically Black Colleges and Universities in our first 2021 Diverse Dialogues panel celebrating Black History Month. HBCUs have served as pipelines for diversified intellect, creativity, and talent for decades, but they have particularly garnered center-stage attention following the historic appointment of the first female, Black, South Asian U.S. Vice President, Kamala Harris, also an HBCU graduate.

Although the D&I Committee, along with PRSA Foundation, has worked to provide scholarships and conference grants reducing the financial barriers to HBCU students and advisers, there is still much work to be done. During our session, panelists will share perspectives on the challenges faced by students of color in our profession, students’ accomplishments at these iconic institutions, and the part PRSA members can play in ensuring their future and ours. Some of our most talented and successful PRSSA Chapters hail from HBCUs, and as PR professionals guard railing our future, it is our duty to mentor these students, help them overcome challenges, and support them in reaching their fullest potential.

Join the conversation using #PRDiversity and tagging @PRSADiversity.

Shanita Akintonde, MBA, M.Ed., DTM, professor in The School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago

B. DàVida Plummer, Dean at Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, Hampton University
Dr. Tia C. M. Tyree, Professor and Interim Associate Dean of the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, Howard University
Ranata Hughes, Visiting Professor and Internship Coordinator at Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication

Recorded Dec 9, 2020

Growing partnerships and collaborations is a key feature of the PRSA D&I three-year strategic plan. As we look to develop and execute programs and activities that advance awareness of D&I and seek additional opportunities to “tell the D&I story” with external stakeholders including agencies, corporate leaders, journalists and more, we have to start and continue the conversations with these groups and thought leaders towards a better shared future in the industry. Moderators:

  • Felicia Blow, APR - PRSA 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chair
  • Andrea Gils - PRSA 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chair


  • T. Garland Stansell, APR, PRSA Chair
  • Lauren Wesley Wilson - Founder and CEO, ColorComm Media Group
  • Naomi Tacuyan Underwood - Executive Director, Asian American Journalists Association
  • Terry Allen - National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Media Related Task Force Chair
  • Rebecca Aguilar - Emmy Award Winning Reporter and President-Elect for the Society of Professional Journalists

Recorded Oct 6, 2020

Today, more than ever, voter education is vitally important. Communicators are leading the charge in helping Americans understand important issues around where, when, and how to vote.

Moderator: Felicia Blow, APR, Co-Chair, of the National Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Panelists: Zara Haq - Voting Rights Advocate, ACLU Sarah Courtney - Senior Director, Communications and Digital Strategy, The League of Women Voters Kelly Mason - Director, Corporate Communications, Levi Straus & Co Dan Lewerenz - Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund Angela Sailor – Heritage

Recorded Sep 22, 2020 6 p.m. EDT

Panelists discuss the role of communications and media in educating, engaging, and advocating for critical issues affecting Hispanics: health, voting, and civil rights. Experts share effective strategies they've implemented in their roles to communicate with Hispanic stakeholders around these issues (from clients to employees and leadership), as well as anticipated challenges this population will face in the coming months. Participants will learn about organizations that are effectively leveraging their brand purpose as a strategy to connect with their Hispanic audiences, and what we can do as PR/communications professionals to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in our respective organizations. This event has a live SPANISH interpretation. El evento contará con traducción en vivo en ESPAÑOL Moderator: Andrea Gils, International marketing and communications Manager, University of Kentucky Panelists: Zandra Zuno, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing, UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) Pepe Maldonado, Account Supervisor, Zeno Group Ana Toro, APR Fellow PRSA, Public Affairs Officer, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Hugo Balta, News Director, WTTW. President, NAHJ. Owner, Latino News Network

Recorded Aug 26, 2020

This hour-long presentation offers an inside look at the lessons learned from the advocates in LGBTQ workplace discrimination cases before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Gerald Bostock, petitioner in the landmark civil rights case Bostock v. Clayton County, his legal counsel, Tom Mew of Buckley Beal, and lead communications counsel, Megan Paquin, APR, CPRC of Poston Communications, offer a look back at the road to the Supreme Court. They not only address the legal victory and how it came to pass, but they describe the importance of communications, engaging core stakeholders, and others in this critically important Supreme Court victory and matter of public concern.

Recorded June 25, 2020

Hear from some of the country’s leading LGBTQ PR professionals on how they are building and engaging the LGBTQ community when we can’t be together. Panelists will discuss the importance of authentic LGBTQ -inclusive communications and how PR professionals’ work is crucial in promoting and preserving unity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Moderator: Troy Blackwell Jr., Former National Director of Press Advance of Tom Steyer
  • Ben Finzel, President of RENEWPR LLC, and Founder of The Change
  • Debbie Ebalobo, Director of External Communications, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Rich Ferraro, Chief Communications Officer, GLAAD
Recorded Jun 4, 2020


  • Anita Ford Saunders, APR
  • Felicia Blow, APR
  • Kim Clark
  • Deme Jackson
Recorded Jun 19, 2020

Moderator: Carolyn Lok, President, PRSSA 2020-2021 National Committee Panelists:

  • Angela Chitkara, Researcher and Consultant, World in 2020 Project
  • Soon Mee Kim, Executive Vice President and Global Diversity and Inclusion Leader, Porter Novelli
  • Ted Nguyen, Immediate Past President of OC/PRSA and National Delegate; Senior Manager of External Affairs at the Orange County Transportation Authority

Section & Chapter Programs

The Role of The Black Press
Provided by: PRSA Maryland Chapter
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