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Diversity & Inclusion

Working Toward a More Diverse Profession

While the practice of public relations in the United States has undergone dramatic changes, a lack of diversity in the communications profession persists. Many studies indicate that the industry still struggles to attract young black, Asian and Hispanic professionals to pursue public relations as their career of choice.

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee is devoted to building consciousness by increasing visibility of D&I standards, resources and best practices for racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation and gender differences, as well as diverse skill sets, mindsets and cultures at all levels of the organization.

The D&I Committee commends PR firms and organizations that have established more diverse workplace environments, and those that have established management programs to help minority groups and LGBT practitioners move up the corporate ladder.

Also, the D&I Committee works closely with the PRSA Foundation, which helps drive diversity within public relations by funding numerous research initiatives for underserved populations, PR firms and employees.


What You Need to Know About HBCUs:
A Reservoir of Public Relations Talent and Desire


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

PRSA Diversity & Inclusion Month

Observe Diversity & Inclusion Month in October and celebrate #PRDiversity with the PRSA National Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Connect with @PRSADiversity to join the conversation.
Diversity Leadership

Andrea Gils Monzon
Marketing and Communications Manager
University of Kentucky - International Center
Lexington, KY 40506

Anita Ford Saunders, APR
AFS Communication
Middletown, CT 

Staff Liaison

Jeneen Garcia
Executive Director of PRSSA
Public Relations Society of America 
New York, N.Y.

Diversity Awards

Chapter Diversity Awards

The PRSA Diversity & Inclusion Committee will award up to two PRSA Chapters with a Chapter Diversity Award. The awards are given to Chapters that embody and demonstrate key values in diversity and inclusion, and that contribute to advancing diversity as shown by submissions of their best practices and/or case studies. These awards recognize their local efforts, as well as provide further support for continued achievements at the Chapter level. 

PRSA 2020 Chapter Diversity & Inclusion Award Winners:

First Place:  Minnesota PRSA Chapter
Second Place: Orange County PRSA Chapter
Honorable Mention: Central Ohio PRSA Chapter

The 2021 D&I Chapter Awards application will be posted in July 2021.

D. Parke Gibson Pioneer Award

Established in 1990, the D. Parke Gibson Pioneer Award is PRSA’s highest individual honor presented to a PR professional who has contributed to increased awareness of public relations within multicultural communities and has participated in promoting issues that meet the needs of these diverse communities.

The winner of the 2020 D. Parke Gibson Award was Marsha R. Pitts-Phillips.

The 2021 D. Parke Gibson Pioneer Award application will be posted in July 2021.  

Diversity Tool Kit

The D&I Toolkit provides members with diversity-related research, materials, applicable tools and professional development opportunities.

Its creation rests on two objectives:

  • To educate members by providing them with the resources they need to help them manage the diversity and inclusion initiatives of their own Chapters, Districts and Sections
  • To influence the composition of their professional development and membership so that the diversity of its membership reflects and embraces the diversity of the profession

Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit - 2021 

Toolkit de Diversidad e Inclusión - 2020   

Foundation programs focus on three pillars: Industry best practices, mentorship imperative and career catalyst.

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PRSA Diversity and Inclusion
Strategic Plan

Download PDF 

Get Involved Gallery 4