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Diversity, Equity & 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, Equity & Inclusion Committee is devoted to building consciousness by increasing visibility of DEI 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 DEI 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 DEI 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.


Diverse Dialogues:
Bridging Equality: Communicating Post-U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

September 13, 2023 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)

Join us at this PRSA Diverse Dialogues event, Bridging Equality: Communicating Post-U.S. Supreme Court Decisions, as we delve into the critical issues surrounding affirmative action in college admissions and anti-discrimination laws. In light of recent Supreme Court decisions, we aim to empower PR and communication professionals with the tools, methods, and approaches to effectively communicate the implications of these rulings, particularly the potential weaker protections for students of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.  

Through an engaging panel discussion, attendees will gain a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape, messaging challenges, and opportunities to advocate for social justice. Experts in law, diversity, and communication will share their insights on crafting impactful narratives, navigating sensitive topics, and amplifying marginalized voices.

Moderated by: Cayce Myers, Ph.D., LL.M., J.D., APR, professor and director of graduate studies, Virginia Tech, School of Communication

  • James Burroughs, government and community relations, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Children's Minnesota
  • Natalie T. Tindall, APR, professor, University of Texas at Austin
  • Richelle Payne, vice president for strategic communications and marketing, Hampton University
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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
William Patrick McSweeney, APR, Fellow PRSA
Managing Director
McSweeney Public Relations LLC
Milwaukee, WI

Marsha Pitts-Phillips, APR
Public Relations Consultant
MRPP & Associates Communications, LLC
Plymouth, MN

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

Diversity Awards

D. Parke Gibson Award

The D. Parke Gibson Award is PRSA’s highest individual award presented to a public relations professional that has contributed to the increased awareness of public relations within multicultural communities and participated in the promotion of issues that meet the special informational and educational needs of these diverse communities.

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Chapter Diversity Awards

The PRSA DEI Committee will award up to three PRSA Chapters with a Chapter Diversity Award. The awards are given to Chapters that embody and demonstrate key values in diversity, equity 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. Application deadline is September 8, 2023

2023 Application Form


2022 Winners
Tampa Bay PRSA Chapter – First Place
Orange County – Second Place
Dallas Chapter – Honorable Mention



Diversity Tool Kit

The DEI 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

DEI Toolkit 2023   

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