Dear Clients, Colleagues and Friends,
As this week comes to a close, our hearts are broken as we reflect with sadness on the loss of the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Tony McDade, and so many others before them. Our country is also broken and we stand in solidarity with those who not only speak out but also strive to fix it. We also agree we are at a moment of national change.
We stand with our member public relations organizations that have expressed sentiments of support so eloquently. We are in alignment with Garland Stansell, APR, PRSA 2020 Chair’s letter to members who called for, “communicators to use our individual and collective voices to stand for truth, to speak out in our communities and workplaces to help cultivate a culture of diversity and inclusion that recognizes and celebrates the inherent value in each person regardless of age, race, religion and sexual identity.”
Ironically, I spoke at this time last year at the PRSA New York Big Apple Awards of my father’s recent passing upon receiving the PRSA New York Makovsky Mentorship in Excellence Award. In my speech I spoke of his leadership on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission initiatives within the Bell System. While I am so proud of his achievements, that was over 53 years ago. What would he say now? I think he’d say: keep going.
I have tried to follow through with my parents’ teachings to respect others of all races, creeds and gender, particularly Black minorities, passing that on to my own children and in my own professional life. I personally as a white woman of privilege know I have not done enough. Not nearly enough. It is a time for listening more, educating more, changing, doing more, for all of us of privilege.
The recently expandedPower of Pink initiative is part of my story, a program designed to celebrate success and help others achieve success. It is designed to help others under COVID-19. Now it embraces a commitment to achieve success in changing not only the conversation but also the practice of racial discrimination and inequities. We will be sharing more information on our platforms.
We have been having the necessary conversations internally and giving back to causes that are important to our team this week. We have done so in the past, we have done so at this moment, and we will continue to do so. Donations were made this week on behalf of our team members to funds such as the George Floyd Fund, Black Lives Matter, Black Visions Collective, YWCA Dayton.
We also contributed to the PRSA Foundation Diversity Action Alliance in honor of Inez Kaiser, the first Black woman to own a national public relations firm. Inez was from Kansas City, Missouri, where she launched her firm. It was where I started my firm too, but you already know I did not have the same battles to fight that Inez did. We still have so much work to do.
In closing, we are sharing the PRSA New York list of resources provided to members in a letter by chapter president Kellie Jelencovich. We will continue to work to further diversity, inclusion, and professionalism while supporting the Black community wherever we are.
Be well, be safe, and be kinder to each other, particularly our Black colleagues. All lives do matter, but at this time it must be stated definitively, Black Lives Matter.
Until we meet again,
Lea Ann Germinder, APR Fellow PRSA
Germinder + Associates, Inc.
Editor + Publisher
RESOURCES COURTESY OF PRSA NEW YORK
- Donate – Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Donate – I Run With Maud – Justice For Ahmaud Arbery
- Supporting the Next Generation of Multicultural PR Practitioners. Donate NOW to Empower the Next Generation of Diverse Talent in Public Relations through the PRSA Foundation. The PRSA Foundation stands at the center of an industry poised for change.
- Support and Donate to the Diversity Action Alliance, which is a coalition of Public Relations and communications leaders joining forces to accelerate progress in the achievement of meaningful and tangible results in diversity, equity and inclusion across our profession.
- Time for Brands to Stand Up – Richard Edelman
- Hire Great Talent to Hire Great Talent – LinkedIn Greg Butler
- Diversity Recruitment Strategies – LinkedIn Greg Butler
- Diversity Recruitment: What It Really Means
- Leading During Triggering Events
- Anti-racism resources for white people
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics
- Waking Up White – Debbie Irving
- White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
- How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement – Wesley Lowery
- 31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance