Shifting Out of Neutral: Identity, Race and Communication

June 7 from 12–2:30 p.m. ET, June 9 from 12–2 p.m. ET, June 15 from 12–2 p.m. ET

What forces shape how we see the world? What forces shape how the world sees us?

Join PRSA Learning in this series of interactive, dialogue-driven workshops to explore how social identities — especially race — show up in our roles as professional communicators.

Avi Edelman, equity and inclusion trainer, will facilitate three interactive workshop sessions, and together with the participants will critically examine notions of “objectivity” and “neutrality” in communications and consider what it takes to be an antiracist communicator. Participants will leave with a new understanding of themselves and with concrete action tools to bring to their professional practice.

Attendees in this workshop series will be encouraged to participate in follow-up exercises that involve applying their learning. These exercises will be determined by the instructor in between workshop sessions.



Course runs June 7 (12–2:30 p.m. ET), June 9 (12–2 p.m. ET) and June 15 (12–2 p.m. ET).

Day 1, June 7, from 12–2:30 p.m. ET
Race, Socialization and Communication

This workshop session will provide a baseline understanding of race, ethnicity and other social identities. Participants will be able to identify components of structural racism and will examine how systems of racial oppression normalize certain identities (and communication styles) and marginalize others. Participants will be invited to think about how they understand and articulate their own racial identity and to utilize Bobbie Haro’s “Cycle of Socialization” diagram to think through key moments from their socialization around race. Participants will apply learning points from their group work to activities that look at how key messages about race show up in their communications practice.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define “social identities” and consider how social identities shape how people navigate their environments. 
  • Describe their own racial and ethnic identities and consider the ramifications of how people with race privilege may — or may not — choose to define their relationship to race. 
  • Define “intersectionality,” “privilege” and “oppression.”

Day 2, June 9, from 12–2 p.m. ET
Tools for Action: Building Antiracist Communications

This workshop session will introduce and define “antiracism” and will invite participants to engage in exercises that seek to shift communications strategies from race-dismissive to race-intentional. Participants will be asked to evaluate aspects of their own professional practice and set concrete goals around incorporating antiracist principles into their work.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define “antiracism” and “racism.”
  • Identify manifestations of racism in communications practices. 
  • Define “race-dismissive,” “race-aware” and” race-intentional” communications practices, and describe behaviors that can shift practices toward “race-intentional.” 
  • Identify areas where they can commit to more self-learning about race and racism. 

Day 3, June 15, from 12–2 p.m. ET
Action Planning and Accountability

This workshop session will allow participants to share elements of their action plans and receive feedback from peers and the facilitator. Participants also will explore accountability strategies and have time to set benchmarks for their antiracist communications goals.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify barrier reduction strategies to aid in their antiracist communications goals. 
  • Define “accountability” and will activate accountability partnerships.
  • Apply feedback received from peers and the facilitator from workshop activities.

Accreditation Information

Participants with the APR credential earn 0.5 renewal CEUs for each session of this workshop, for a total of 1.5 CEUs.


Members can save $50 if they register by May 24.



Diversity & Inclusion, Live Online, Workshop