Blog

PRSA D&I Resources

Last month, our Diversity & Inclusion committee explored a communicator's role in making a statement in reality in light of the Black Lives Matters protests. As PR practitioners, we've all crafted statements, but now we must figure out how to help our organizations live up to these statements.

As part of this presentation, the committee developed a list of books, articles, videos, websites, and organizations to look into to better inform your actions. Many of these (listed below) were discussed during the webinar--which PRSA Central Ohio members can watch on-demand here

  •  "Five Things You Should Know About Racism,”From MTV News' Decoded series, Franchesca Ramsey discusses the five things everyone should know and understand about racism. 
  • Antiracism and America:” A collaboration between The Guardian and American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, this is an ongoing series that sheds light on the structures at the root of racial inequities.
  • “13th” Netflix documentary. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. 
  • Uncomfortable conversation with a Black Man,” Emmanuel Acho educates and informs on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting and the hurt African Americans are feeling today.
  • Dear White People, Please Read ‘White Fragility,’” June 5, 2020, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart writes opinion recommending controversial Robin DiAngelo book that addresses white people directly about how white supremacy permeates their lives and how to recognize and dismantle it.
  • Here’s What White LGBTQ People Can Do Right Now,” Stancliff, G., June 9, 2002: Equality Ohio, (includes Letter From Queer Partnership for Black Liberation and list of 155 Black persons killed in Ohio by police in Ohio since 2015).

 

For more resources, please download our full resource packet from the webinar here

Read More

Background and Information on Proposed Amendments to Add Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Every three years, the Chapter's Board of Directors and Committee leaders develop a new strategic plan to help provide guidance and direction to the Chapter's leadership to fulfill its mission and vision. The chapter’s current strategic plan for the period of 2019 through 2021 was finalized by an ad-hoc committee in 2018. The plan identifies several goals and initiatives to take place over the three-year period, many of which have allowed the chapter to rework operations, such as by offering programmatic changes such as free coffee chats. While many goals can be implemented by the chapter’s volunteer leadership, one notable change requires an amendment to the chapter’s bylaws.
 
This particular goal is to modify one of the six director-at-large positions to become a Diversity and Inclusion Officer. This position expands upon the chapter's mission statement, vision statement and Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In order for this change to occur, the membership must vote to amend our bylaws. In addition, some minor housekeeping changes have been recommended. 

On Thursday, July 2, the Board of Directors approved the amendments to the bylaws as outlined on this voting page. To officially amend the bylaws, the membership is asked to vote on accepting these changes. Voting is open today through Aug. 8, 2020. If accepted by Central Ohio PRSA and then national PRSA, the Diversity & Inclusion Officer position will become effective with the 2021 Board of Directors, for which nominations will be sought soon. 

Background Information

PRSA Central Ohio Mission Statement:
To empower a diverse and inclusive community of members to drive strategic outcomes within their organizations by:

  • promoting ethical practice
  • building dynamic relationships
  • providing growth opportunities and
  • recognizing excellence


Vision Statement:
To be a leading PRSA chapter that embodies the values and ethics of the profession
 
Rationale for New Position: PRSA Central Ohio has a longstanding commitment to diversity. The Chapter has an established Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and a dedicated Director-at-Large who serves as liaison to this committee. We need to take these efforts a step further to increase diversity and inclusion standards within our Board, our programming and within our membership to ensure all voices are being represented by creating a formal position. 
 
Benchmarking and Research: Feedback was requested on the PRSA Leadership Forum. We reviewed the position descriptions from national PRSA, as well as local chapters in Akron, Detroit, Charlotte, Minnesota, Southeast Wisconsin and Austin. We also completed a search to see if other chapters had similar positions on their Board. We found that most chapters have a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and a liaison sits on the board, as a member/director at large, similar to PRSA Central Ohio. The Minnesota chapter has a Diversity & Inclusion Officer as a defined position on its Board. Feedback was solicited from the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and PRSA Board of Directors. 
 
Our Current Diversity & Inclusion Committee Description:
The Chapter affirms diversity as a smart business practice. It is through awareness, education and positive recognition of the differences among people in the workforce that we can begin to recognize the uniqueness in everyone, valuing the contribution that each can make and create an inclusive work environment where awareness of, and respect for, those of diverse groups. For this reason, the Board of Directors established a Diversity Committee.

Position Description:

Diversity & Inclusion Officer 

The purpose of this position is to facilitate a culture of inclusion in all aspects of our chapter -- from leadership and membership, to education, communication and programming.

Requirements: A PRSA member in good standing.

Responsibilities

  • Serves as a liaison to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
  • Defines the Chapter’s Diversity & Inclusion goals with the Committee Chair. 
  • Participates in quarterly conference calls to discuss and review initiatives led by the national D&I Committee
  • Ensures the Chapter is using PRSA’s Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit and Checklist and gives feedback on the Chapter’s response to the use of these documents
  • Sits on the Programs Committee to ensure diversity and inclusion aspects are considered as part of programming 
  • Works with Membership Committee to actively invite interested members of all backgrounds to join committees and serve in leadership roles 
  • Develops and implements a plan, criteria and expectations that would create a path to elevate diverse members from committee membership, chair roles and board roles
  • Serves as a resource to chapter members on diversity and inclusion education 
  • Helps plan activities with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee during Diversity & Inclusion Month
  • Connects with the National D&I Committee leadership and other Chapter liaisons to learn best practices or discuss any particular project on D&I
  • Serves a minimum one-year term. (A two-year term is preferred).

 

Read More