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A Statement from PRSA East Central District and Central Ohio PRSA

Statement on Racism from the PRSA East Central District
The Public Relations Society of America East Central District* is appalled by the events leading to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many other members of our Black community. 

We condemn all acts of racism. We dedicate ourselves as communicators to stand in solidarity with our Black members, Black colleagues, Black students, and the Black community at large to promote the principles of equality.

We pledge our support to convene people for solutions and to listen in order to empower change in our communities. Furthermore, we resolve to do our best as advocates to bring truth to power, act always with justice, and to commit ourselves to an essential role in resolving systemic racism.

Central Ohio PRSA is a member of the PRSA East Central District.

Central Ohio PRSA President’s Message
Central Ohio PRSA stands with our colleagues in the East Central District on the important matter of racism.

I am proud of our chapter's commitment to diversity and inclusion through the leadership of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee, under the leadership of Chair Shanikka Flinn, committee members Gayle Saunders, APR, Jaron Terry, APR,  Fellow PRSA, Josh Hartley and Mackenzie Betts and Board liaison Wendy Schwantes, APR. This committee works to promote diversity and inclusion in the PR profession, support PR professionals from diverse backgrounds, and educate our members through timely, relevant content and educational programs. This year, our PRisms and Diversity and Inclusion Committees took steps to recognize the individuals and organizations that are leaders in this area by establishing diversity and inclusion criteria for our PRism Awards, along with a specific award recognizing this important initiative.

Our chapter believes every person is deserving of equal respect and dignity, and this is a strategic initiative we must keep at the forefront. That’s why our 2019 to 2021 Strategic Plan identifies specific goals related to diversity and inclusion. They include to:

  • Facilitate a culture of inclusion within our chapter;
  • Implement programs with topics related to diversity and inclusion that feature speakers representing diverse backgrounds;
  • Have a representative of the diversity and inclusion committee sit on various committees to allow for cross representation;
  • Actively invite interested members of all backgrounds to join committees and serve in leadership roles;
  • Develop and implement a plan, criteria and expectations that would create a path to elevate diverse members from committee membership, chair roles and board roles. 


We know we can always do more. And, we need your help. We appreciate the voices of all our members in making sure we can continue to empower change through effective programming and dialogue. Please join us in sharing your voice - share your feedback on how we can be more inclusive. Help lead the chapter by serving on a committee or through volunteer work. We can all play a role in moving the needle forward and making progress together.

I am happy to help answer any questions you have.

Katie Thomas, APR
President, Central Ohio PRSA 

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