National Capital Chapter

February 2021 President’s Message

Dear NCC Members and Colleagues,

February is Black History Month. This month and throughout the year, we recognize the diverse voices and achievements of Black communications and PR professionals, and we continue to raise awareness and amplify Black PR voices — past and current — for the impact they’ve had on our industry and in our communities.

We are all stronger when we celebrate and embrace diversity in our lives — and within our field.

Over the course of my career, Black colleagues and friends in the industry have expressed to me that they felt the need to create separate spaces and forums where they were represented and authentically appreciated.

At PRSA NCC, we want all of our Black colleagues to be seen, heard, valued, supported, treated equitably, advanced, accepted and included.

We are committed to:

Featuring Black leaders — This month, we are featuring Black PR leaders in academia, agency, education, etc., on our social channels to honor trailblazers and legends. We will continue to honor diverse leaders in our industry throughout the year.

Including DEI in our chapter’s DNA — The diversity and inclusion committee has intentionally changed its name to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to ensure our processes are equitable and support our diversity, equity and inclusion goals. The DEI Committee identifies and supports the DEI needs of PRSA NCC in the areas of race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression and identity, sexual orientation, age, ability and other diversity dimensions. Committee members serve as ambassadors within the chapter, ensuring that DEI is woven into our culture. Committee members also serve as thought partners to the PRSA NCC board and Management Committee to recommend DEI strategies that advance our profession and our chapter. Should you wish to participate, please contact Joseph Dawson and Diti Bhasin, DEI Committee Chairs, at

Supporting new professionals from diverse communities The PRSA National Capital Chapter (PRSA NCC) Diverse New Professionals Fellowship Program was established last year to deliver on the chapter’s strategic objective to create an inclusive and welcoming environment that cultivates a diverse and collaborative membership reflective of the profession and community. The Diverse New Professionals Fellowship Program will help provide recent graduates who are Black, Latino/a/x, Hispanic, Indigenous or Asian with access to professional development and networking opportunities. Recipients will also be assigned dedicated mentors to help guide and connect them as they enter the professional communications field. The fellowship component, made possible through a sponsorship from ICF Next, will help increase representation of talented and diverse professionals. While limited space is available, PRSA NCC members interested in serving on the task force can contact Lisa Kiefer, PRSA NCC Immediate Past President, at

Supporting our members  —  We are launching resource groups and forums where our diverse members can find support in a collaborative environment and create real bonds. Our first event will be Black Voices, which will be held in March and will be moderated by Felicia Blow, APR, Chair-Elect. Stay tuned for exact details as well as information on additional resource groups.

Participating in conversations on diversity — Leaders are invited to discuss DEI and ideas for achieving greater diversity and viewpoints in our industry by participating in PRSA NCC’s #PRDiversity Twitter chat. Stay tuned for further details, including the date and participants.

This month and always, honor the contributions of Black PR professionals and pledge to drive culture change to ensure inclusive, safe and anti-racist workplaces. In doing so, we can help close the gap of inequity and everyone stands to gain.

Join PRSA NCC in pledging this promise and continuing to report on the progress.

Leading with integrity and passion,

Lauren Lawson-Zilai
PRSA NCC President