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Previous Chapter Diversity Award Winners


2011 Winners

Orange County Chapter
The Chapter was honored for year-long initiatives to increase recruitment of diverse members, provide training and development opportunities, and encouraging diverse members to consider leadership roles in the Chapter. The Chapter was actively participated in many local diversity programs, such as the Orange County Black Chamber Education Fund, including presenting a $250 scholarship to the organization for a student majoring in communications.

The Chapter continued education efforts by co-hosting a social media webinar, coordinating a workshop, “Networking With HR Execs: What Diverse Candidates Need to Know in the Digital Age,” and hosted their 7th Annual Diversity Conference, “Census 2010 Changes the Landscape: PR & Marketing Strategies for a New America.” The event provided opportunities for recent college graduates and volunteers to gain event planning and networking experience. They also highlighted best practices used during Census 2010 to reach Arab Americans, mature adults and Latino populations.  

Minnesota Chapter
The Minnesota Chapter took deliberate efforts to shed the image that there is no diversity in Minnesota, and in 2011, began implementing programs to attract diverse professionals to the Chapter.

Initiatives included Tweet chats and a column spotlighting ethnic professionals in the area. The biggest initiative, however, was the first-ever Minnesota PRSA Diversity & Inclusion Panel in September 2011. The Chapter achieved a major goal of making this event free to all attendees by securing sponsorship. They used the panel to launch a second event that would be co-hosted by the Twin Cities Media Alliance, a group of citizen journalist, and community and ethnic media. This event allowed their members to learn more about the growing ethnic media in Minnesota.

Nashville Chapter
In 2007, the Nashville Chapter created a standing Diversity Committee. Since its creation, the committee has produced numerous programs and panels spotlighting diverse professionals, particularly from the Hispanic community.

In 2011, the Nashville Chapter hosted a panel discussion with chief diversity officers from Ford Motor Credit, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Hospital Corporation of America. Each discussed their organization’s successful diversity programs and how those programs grew in meaning and acceptance by senior staff and employees. The takeaways for Chapter members were case studies of how to successfully incorporate diversity efforts into their own organizations.

2010 Winners

Orange County Chapter
The OC/PRSA Chapter was honored for organizing multiple programs throughout the year, particularly their 6th Annual Diversity Conference. Bringing together more than 65 practitioners, the conference’s highlight was a program called “Mommy and Daddy Marketing 101.”

The OC/PRSA Chapter has served as a resource for increasingly diverse Southern California businesses since 2004, raising awareness of diversity and inclusiveness in the public relations profession and the Southern California community. The group has successfully held annual diversity leadership conferences, established and developed partnerships with local PRSSA Chapters, and opened a dialog with the business, academic and media communities in Orange County, emphasizing the impact of diversity on the bottom line.

Rochester Chapter
The PRSA Rochester Chapter spent the past year focusing their efforts on inclusion, while building a platform for conversation and increasing awareness in their community and Chapter. To accomplish this, they planned three distinct programs that engaged business leaders and students. Through various panel discussions, participants learned how to create more inclusive work environments, educated university students about the importance of diversity, and provided tips to communicate the value of diversity to both management and employees.

2009 Winners

The Miami Chapter is honored as an Award of Achievement recipient for its initiative “Hispanic Media 3.0: Social, Bilingual and Ready to Mingle, a Professional Development Workshop.”

The Hispanic Market Section committee of PRSA Miami saw the need and an opportunity to address the ever-changing role of public relations professionals, and how the Internet and social media are playing a major role in communications strategies. The group created two initiatives designed to provide Hispanic marketers and communicators with an opportunity to advance their careers and profession — a networking wine tasting event and a professional development workshop. More than 80 attendees from various professions attended the workshop, establishing a link and relationships with various organizations supporting the advancement of diversity in both the profession and the Miami Chapter. The event raised more than $4,000 — the most money ever raised for the Chapter — through sponsorships and workshop fees, and was one of the best attended PRSA Miami events of the year, for the cost of just $80 in expenses.
The Orange County Chapter is honored with an Award of Achievement for its campaign, “Sustaining an Open Dialogue for a More Inclusive Culture.”

The Orange County Chapter has served as a resource for increasingly diverse Southern California businesses since 2004, raising awareness of diversity and inclusion within the public relations profession and the Southern California community. The group has successfully held annual diversity leadership conferences, established and developed partnerships with local Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapters and opened a dialog with the business, academic and media communities in Orange County, emphasizing the impact of diversity on the bottom line.

The Dallas Chapter set out to create a strategic diversity program that addressed the changing needs of an increasingly diverse business community, and raised awareness that diversity extends beyond race. The casual, yet informational, “Drinks + Diversity” networking event offers the Chapter the opportunity to learn about the newest in diversity from leading experts with firsthand experience in the diversity realm, while also giving attendees the opportunity to meet industry peers and learn about all the different fields in the public relations industry. The kickoff event focused on “Connecting with the Latino Consumer,” and the second program informed attendees of the trends and tactics of diversity in communications as they pertain to the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) community.

2008 Winners

The Greater Fort Worth Chapter recognized that understanding the distinction between embracing and accepting differences is key to an authentic approach to diversity. This insight led to the creation of the Chapter’s “Diversity of Thought” program, which helped promote diverse group participation in a citywide AIDS and HIV awareness program. The Chapter increased commitment to diversity from its members by building a committee of diverse persons representing the corporate, nonprofit, medical, and arts communities. Additionally, the Chapter sponsored diversity-themed luncheons, as well as held a series of meetings and phone conferences with area companies to gauge the effectiveness of its diversity initiatives.

The Miami Chapter continues to recognize their impact on the public relations industry as a highly diverse city. The Chapter’s priorities have intrinsically centered on diversity, which is illustrated by its leadership composition, professional development opportunities, and community service. This year’s PRSA Miami Sunshine District Conference allowed the Chapter to expand its key programming to include diversity topics that allowed panelists to discuss marketing strategies to reach diverse segments of the population in today’s changing times. The programming also included an agency roundtable with key executives from three of Miami’s top international agencies.

The Orange County Chapter continues to build upon its strategic partnerships with regional Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and YoPro Chapters for new leader development, diversity, inclusion training, and mentorship. It secured high-profile guest speakers, which drove attendance to diversity events and broadened the Chapter’s diversity message, as well as maintains timely content and resources on its website. This year, the Chapter rebranded diversity with a new logo and leveraged social networking opportunities on such sites as Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Kansas Chapter received the Award of Honor certificate for its energy as a small Chapter making great strides to advance diversity and inclusion by producing diversity-themed workshops for its community.

2007 Winners

The Greater Cleveland Chapter, Award of Achievement recipient, embodies and consistently demonstrates key values in advancing diversity by building commitment across the organization to promote diversity and inclusion. Many initiatives were accomplished, including one that provides significant progress in immersing Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) members into Chapter life while keeping diverse programming in the forefront.

Two Chapters received Award of Honor certificates for their own outstanding efforts in advancing diversity. The New York City Chapter was selected for its blueprint model for student outreach and programming. The Orange County Chapter was selected for its diversity-focused regional conference, enabling a full range of professional development to practitioners in the region.

No awards given out in 2006.

2005 Winners

First Place: National Capital Chapter.
Second Place: Greater Cleveland Chapter.
Honorable Mention: Orange County Chapter.

2004 Winners

Recognized in the large Chapter category (150+ members), was the Miami Chapter. With 43 percent of its membership identifying themselves as representing one or more racial or ethnic minority categories, the Miami Chapter is a perfect example of Chapter diversity. Just eleven years ago, the Chapter's minority representation was only 12 perfect of its total membership. In 1994, the Chapter launched a Hispanic Marketing Section, one of the first in the nation, which now hosts up to three professional development programs annually. This year, the Miami Chapter helped charter a PRSSA Chapter at Florida Memorial College, a historically African-American college located in North Miami-Dade County. The Miami Chapter, which has diversity interwoven into its every day operations, was also the inspiration for National PRSA's Diversity Tool Kit®.

The North Florida Chapter, awarded the Chapter Diversity Award in the mid-size Chapter category (51-150), formed an alliance with the Sunshine Chapter (Florida) of the Black Public Relations Society (BPRS). They held a diversity luncheon program featuring Tony Jenkins, vice president of diversity, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida, as the keynote speaker. North Florida also received extensive media coverage of their diversity efforts by reaching out to the local media.

In an effort to diversify their membership to more accurately reflect Arizona's current demographics, the Phoenix Chapter, recipients of an honorable mention, established a Diversity Task Force comprised of multicultural practitioners representing various backgrounds and years of experience within the public relations industry. The task force developed a plan for 2004 which included conducting a baseline survey to determine diversity baselines and to help set attainable goals. In addition, the task force increased awareness of member benefits and cultivated future professionals by introducing public relations as a career option to minority students currently enrolled in Arizona educational institutions.

Also receiving an honorable mention was the PRSA Richmond Chapter. In January 2003, the Richmond Chapter adopted diversity as one of its primary goals and developed a strategic diversity plan. From that strategic diversity plan, the Minority Mentorship program has emerged as the Chapter's marquee program. The mentorship program pairs PRSA Richmond members with minority students studying public relations at local colleges and universities. The mentorship program runs from September to June and has been included in the Chapter’s 2005 strategic plan.

2003 Winners

The Detroit Chapter's diversity program was implemented in April 2002. Since that time, the Chapter has established an annual minority/multicultural recruitment reception, sponsored by the General Motors Corporation. An annual minority scholarship was also created in memory of the late Gerald R. Lundy, APR, Fellow PRSA. Other events include an annual multicultural holiday Chapter luncheon to showcase international holiday celebrations and a half-day workshop held at the Arab Cultural Center for Economic and Social Services.

The Georgia Chapter brought in the largest number of minority members with their diversity program, recruiting 20 new members over the past few months. To further demonstrate their commitment to diversity, Georgia Chapter COO Denise Grant attended the Diversity Leadership Academy, graduating from a five-month training program on diversity maturity. Other Chapter diversity initiatives include joint meetings with the Black Public Relations Society and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a mentoring program catering especially to mid-level practitioners who require mentoring in order to be promoted to the upper levels of management, creating a diversity section on the Chapter website and paying the membership dues of the Clark Atlanta University PRSSA Chapter Faculty Advisor and returning the student Chapter to good overall standing.

The Greater Cleveland Chapter's diversity program was highlighted by their professional development conference, "Facing Change, Changing Faces: A Communicator's Guide to Remaining Relevant," which drew 120 attendees and was held in conjunction with the Cleveland Advertising Association. The conference was held during Unity Week, a series of events and activities designed to promote multiculturalism and diversity in Cleveland and across Northeast Ohio. Dukes served as keynote speaker and also moderated a City of Cleveland-sponsored panel discussion on negative stereotypes.

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