Dawn Christian Named PRSA Foundation President
The PRSA Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion within the communications profession, has named Dawn Christian its president.
A sought-after speaker, adviser, coach and podcast contributor, Christian is the CEO and founder of Belong by Dawn Christian, a leadership consultancy.
The PRSA Foundation’s Board of Directors elected Christian and appointed her as a trustee in 2022. She succeeds Dr. Aerial Ellis following the completion of her tenure as president.
“In my role, I look forward to working with the PRSA Foundation Board and assessing the equity gaps that exist as an integral step to building sustainable pathways for the marginalized,” Christian said. “To change the landscape, we must continue to provide access and resources and create a new narrative about who the talent is and where it exists. We will redefine what the PR industry looks like to reflect more — more backgrounds, heritages, cultures, perspectives and more people.”
PRSSA to Launch Chapter at UMass Amherst
PRSSA is establishing a Chapter at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The Chapter will launch with students who have a strong interest in studying public relations and strategic communications. Jennie Donohue, senior lecturer and director of the PR concentration at UMass Amherst, will serve as faculty adviser.
“What better way to start the spring 2023 semester than by becoming an official PRSSA Chapter,” said Donohue. “Our PR Club student-leaders and I are excited to take this next step in the club’s evolution, something we’ve been working toward since the club was founded in 2019.”
Donohue is a PRSA member and award-winning professional turned professor. She brings decades of corporate, agency and nonprofit/public experience into the classroom and is passionate about experiential learning.
PRSA’s Boston Chapter will provide support, while Douglas Haslam, account director at Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, will serve as a professional adviser.
PRSA Foundation Extends Partnership with Mission North
The PRSA Foundation is expanding its partnership with Mission North and bringing in three additional partner agencies, AGEAN Public Relations, LaunchSquad, and Method Communications, to create fellowships focusing on PR/communications college students of color.
The Foster the Future initiative aims to build a more progressive future for the PR profession by creating pathways for individuals who’ve been historically excluded from leadership positions.
The four agencies are collaborating with the PRSA Foundation to offer the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while offsetting some of the financial burdens of tuition and other education expenses.
In 2023, the PRSA Foundation will award four fellowships, with some combination of scholarships, stipends and internships. The internship will follow a curriculum developed by Mission North introducing awardees to PR agency careers.
The 2023 awards are:
- Mission North the Future Is… Fellowship: $16,000 scholarship, $6,000 stipend, six-week remote internship.
- AGEAN Public Relations Fellowship: $2,500 scholarship, five-week remote internship.
- LaunchSquad Fellowship: $15,000 scholarship, $4,000 stipend, eight-week remote internship
- Method Communications Fellowship: $15,000 scholarship, $3,000 stipend, six-week remote internship.
Board Nomination Process Coming Soon
Keep an eye out this spring for the start of the application process for the 2024 Board of Directors.
Board members meet and closely collaborate with colleagues on the local, regional and national levels, supporting efforts to champion PRSA and amplifying our value with members. Their duties and responsibilities include fiscal oversight, helping to guide and oversee PRSA’s strategic vision and goals, enhancing membership growth and serving as the face of the organization, among many other projects and programs.
Visit the PRSA website or social media platforms for the Board nomination announcement.