Lessons From Bringing Diverse Voices Into the Classroom

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It’s been said that a crisis doesn’t form character, but reveals it. For many of us, the last three years of a global pandemic — coupled with an ongoing racial reckoning — have been a crucible from which our characters have emerged glowing for all to see.

For Black PR practitioners, the last few years have been especially challenging. They’ve had to navigate health disparities that caused Black communities to suffer greater loss than any other from COVID. At the same time, they’ve had to overcome the emotional and physical stress caused by George Floyd’s murder in May 2020.

Despite these conditions, Black practitioners have brought their lived experiences into PR classrooms throughout the country, sharing their perspectives with aspiring professionals. 

How can PR professors better support guest speakers as a form of activist teaching? As researchers in media and communication at Temple University and the University of Memphis, we were determined to explore these questions.

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