November 27, 2017

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San Francisco – November 2017 –  The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community, presented the 2017 “Chapter Diversity Award” to the PRSA San Francisco Chapter (PRSA-SF). The award was announced at the PRSA 2017 International Conference in Boston.

The Chapter Diversity Award is given annually to the PRSA chapter that best embodies and demonstrates key values in diversity and inclusion (D&I) and contributes to advancing diversity locally and nationally. The San Francisco Chapter’s D&I efforts, stood out among its peers for successfully developing and hosting multiple panels, workshops and seminars focused on the importance of implementing D&I programs and best practices.

“The San Francisco Chapter is very proud to have been chosen for this recognition. Our D&I committee worked diligently to ensure that diversity and inclusion had a seat at the table in all decisions about our program offerings and member communication,” said Annie Moore, 2017 PRSA-SF Chapter President.

The award is reflective of the work that the chapter produced and implemented from July 30, 2016 through July 31, 2017. During that time, the San Francisco Chapter successfully developed and hosted multiple diversity-minded programs and events including the “Fall Into Diversity” mixer, a Diversity & Inclusion Best Practices Google Hangout and Twitter chat, “United. Not Divided. Communicating Through a Crisis,” and “So You Have a Diversity & Inclusion Program. Now What?” In addition, the committee ensured a more diverse representation of communications experts across all programs and activities within the Chapter.

This year, Ayele Ajavon, Communications Manager at Autodesk and 2017 PRSA-SF D&I Director, took the additional step of volunteering on the Chapter’s Professional Development Committee, chaired by Marquise McCoy, Corporate Communications Manager at LinkedIn, and working more closely with the organizers of the Chapter’s Second Thursday Networking Committee, chaired by John McCartney, Managing Director, West Coast at Wise Public Relations, to ensure even greater synergy and more diverse representation across chapter activities and events.

“D&I is not a tactic or box to check off. It’s a critically important lens through which all communications activities flow and this year we ensured that it was embedded into the framework of all of our programing,” said Ajavon. “The PRSA-SF chapter has always tried to lead by showing what great public relations work looks like and this year, we were committed to serving as the gold standard for D&I in action.”

Check out the PRSA Professional Development Workshop video. 

PRSA 2017 D&I Committee

Ayele Ajavon, Director

Ashleigh Richelle

Marquise McCoy

Joanna Rosenthal

Rahel Marsie-Hazen, Director-At-Large

Y’Anad Burrell, Immediate Past President, PRSA-SF  


PRSA-SF D&I Statement*

PRSA-SF is committed to providing professional development opportunities that are reflective and inclusive of all segments of society. Our goal is to provide communications programming that encompasses a wide variety of ideas, perspectives and cultural backgrounds. Through our events and resources, we aim to encourage, educate and engage with a diverse group of communications professionals while affecting change and fostering growth in the public relations industry.

*PRSA-SF released its first-ever D&I statement in 2016 under the leadership of Y’Anad Burrell, CEO, Glass House Communications and PRSA-SF 2016 President