President’s Letter: February 2021

“The way to right wrongs is turn the light of truth upon them.”
~Ida B. Wells-Barnett

I love this quote from Ida B. Wells-Barnett. A woman ahead of her time, Wells-Barnett was a journalist, activist and researcher who fought against sexism, racism and violence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her words are as strong and true today—more than 100 years later. While we’ve made progress, we still have so much work to do.

As we celebrate Black History Month, we must be mindful that our words alone can’t move us forward. It’s imperative that we guide our organizations to take a deep look inside at practices and policies and find ways to bring action to our communities that will have a lasting impact. I share with you this opinion from a journalist Ernest Owens, a Philadelphia-based journalist, published in The Washington Post last week. The celebration and conversations that take place during Black History Month should continue all year long.

PRSA Orlando started our conversation last October during our third annual Dinner, Diversity and Dialogue gathering, where eight PRSA Orlando members of diverse backgrounds discussed race and diversity in the workplace. You’ll find links to the D&I White Paper, “PRSA Members on Race & Diversity in the Workplace” later in this newsletter, as well as our feature on the “Significance of Black History Month in 2021” where we asked members to share with us their perspectives.

For our program this month, we will be turning our focus inward to help us shed light on our personal bias and the direct link between our unconscious thinking and our beliefs and actions. We’ll explore why we make subconscious assumptions, how we can avoid them, and the impact they have on our daily lives in our workplaces and our community as communicators and leaders. I hope you will join us on Thursday, February 18, at 8:30 a.m. for this virtual program. We will open the lines at 8:15 a.m. for networking opportunities and conversation. Be sure to register today.

Knowledge and awareness can only help us grow as communicators and citizens. As we stand on the front lines communicating for our organizations, we also must serve as the conduit of two-way communication and continue to turn on the light. 

Stay bright!

Stefanie Macfarlane, APR
PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter President