In October, PRSA celebrates Diversity & Inclusion Month, featuring programs presented by the PRSA D&I Committee. This year’s theme is “Transforming the Landscape.” Please join the #PRDiversity discussion via @PRSADiversity and follow along with our D&I-related blog posts, webinars and Twitter Chats throughout the month.
The events of 2020 have profoundly impacted all of our lives, from the COVID-19 pandemic to global protests calling for racial justice. Diversity, equity and inclusion have moved center stage — not because inequalities didn’t exist earlier or diversity wasn’t already advocated for, but because these topics are now broadly recognized in the national discourse.
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” wrote the Victorian-era English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Well, let’s rephrase that idea and ask ourselves, “How do I use my voice? How do I give a voice to others?” There are countless ways.
As PR professionals, we have cultivated our voices through our communication and writing skills, and our creativity. We have developed strong community and professional networks, and possess the resourcefulness and leadership abilities to help give others a voice.
How can we use our voices to advocate for diversity and inclusion? One way is by lending our skills to students and faculty at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving institutions that sponsor PRSSA Chapters. We can start by assessing our own strengths and the time we have available to mentor PRSSA students and young professionals.
We can also advocate for and join PRSA’s National Diversity & Inclusion Committee, in addition to our own Chapter D&I efforts. Using our writing and communications skills, we can write op-eds and blogs, and activate our media networks.
Finally, we can consider donating to PRSSA and the PRSA Foundation, which funds individual scholarships for academic achievement, diversity, professional ambition and the desire to attend National events.
The time is now. Let’s act.
Olga Mayoral Wilson, APR, Fellow PRSA, is an award-winning Puerto Rican PR professional who is also an educator, mentor, D&I advocate, strategic-communications adviser and former CCO for Fortune 500 companies. She is the secretary-treasurer for the executive committee of College of Fellows in 2020 and will serve as vice chair next year. Her passion is to empower others through education and mentoring.
Photo credit: kolett