By Sheila Tartaglia
For more than a decade, PRSA’s leaders in the National Diversity and Inclusion Committee have worked to make PRSA more inclusive and welcoming for industry professionals of all ethnic backgrounds, races, genders, levels of physical ability, and inclusion in the LGBT community. By providing a diverse and inclusive perspective to the field of public relations, the PRSA Diversity and Inclusion Committee is committed to supporting members by giving them the tools and advice they need to encourage membership diversity, and to enhance their efforts in communicating with the wide range of audiences they reach.
This year, the PRSA National Diversity and Inclusion Committee is ramping up its efforts by: providing PRSA chapters with the materials they need to develop and enhance diversity and inclusion initiatives within their organizations; hosting diversity-focused Twitter Chats co-hosted by organizations that represent diverse groups; hosting webinars for professionals on topics of diversity and inclusion; increasing the frequency of PRSAY blog posts by diverse industry professionals and PRSA members; and strengthening the National Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s relationship and outreach efforts with PRSSA.
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is also expanding its reach and creating dynamic new initiatives through subcommittee groups dedicated to collaborating on these initiatives.
Beginning in early March, the National Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s chapter liaisons, Y’Anad Burrell, Board President of PRSA, San Francisco, and Aerial Ellis, committee Secretary and PRSSA Advisor, will build alliances and collaborate with PRSA chapters. They will unveil the 2016 PRSA Diversity and Inclusion Tool Kit and highlight specific areas to all PRSA chapters via an online meeting. They also plan to do the following:
• Provide information about the PRSA National Chapter Diversity Awards, and encourage submissions.
• Ask the San Diego Chapter – last year’s award winners – to share their Diversity and Inclusion programs.
• After the initial online meeting, send all chapters a Google Doc link to the Diversity and Inclusion Tool Kit.
• Provide their diversity initiatives, plans and programs in a shared Google Docs folder in order to encourage chapters to disseminate information and gather best practices from one another.
• Reach out to Chapters who do not currently have Diversity Chairs to determine their challenges and/or interest in appointing a chapter member to this role. Y’Anad and Aerial will assist in working with the chapters to make this happen.
This will prove to be an enlightening and productive year for all PRSA chapters that are doing tremendous, noteworthy work in diversity and inclusion! The PRSA National Diversity and Inclusion Committee looks forward to assisting all chapters in their initiatives and efforts.
Sheila Tartaglia serves as Chair of the PRSA National Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of PRSA NJ. Sheila is chief operating officer of Tartaglia Communications, LLC, based in Somerset. http://www.tartagliacommunications.com