National Capital Chapter

October 2021 President’s Message

Dear NCC Members and Colleagues:

This October, we are proud to celebrate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Month. We are taking the time to recognize the importance of continuing to create awareness of this essential topic and recommitting ourselves to actively promoting change for the betterment of PRSA and the communications profession.

  • Throughout the year, NCC has brought an even greater range of diverse voices and expertise to members through our events, our board and our social content. Most recently, Mary Ann Gόmez Orta, president and CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute and member of our DEI committee, led a discussion with Julissa Marenco, assistant secretary for communication and external affairs and chief marketing officer, Smithsonian Institution, and Oscar Suris, executive managing director of C-suite strategy and crisis, Zeno Group, to celebrate and recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic leaders in our profession as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Watch the recording to learn about their career journeys, stories and lessons learned, and keep the dialogue going on social using the hashtag, #PRDiversity.

In the coming month:

  • We are donating to the PRSA Endowed Multicultural Scholarship, a program that provides scholarships to diverse students studying public relations and communications.
  • Robb Lee, chief strategy officer for ASAE, will take part in a moderated conversation with Jaya L. Koilpillai, MA, APR, MSMOB, ACC, founder and chief consultant for Designing Communication, about how their DEI perspectives were informed through their experiences representing national brands and working at communications agencies. The event entitled, “DEI: Are You Self-Aware?” will take place on Friday, December 3, from 12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
  • We will hold our DEI Dialogues: Black Voices session on Thursday, November 18, from 5 – 6 p.m. with Kenita B. Matthews, APR, senior advisor, external affairs and strategic planning for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Biden Administration, led by DEI committee member, Rakeem Mosey, APR. The purpose of the event, which is open to Black professionals and allies, is to amplify the diverse voices within the PR profession.

In addition, PRSA National has two upcoming events:

Tuesday, October 26, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.: Using Our Voices to Lead Change – Civil Discourse: Equipping PR Pros for Civil Discourse

How can communicators prepare themselves to respond when their brand has the opportunity to share its voice in public discourse or defend itself from others?

Wednesday, October 27, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Diverse Dialogues: Building Better Partnerships within Corporate Citizenship and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Join key corporate public affairs and communications leaders for an in-depth discussion on the correlation between corporate citizenship and DEI as well as how adding DEI communications strategies can elevate organizations, year-round.

DEI is an ever-evolving journey that requires us to think and do things differently to move the needle toward a more inclusive workforce and society. NCC plays a core role as agents of change and we take that responsibility seriously.

I am proud to share these accomplishments and to continue leading and serving our chapter alongside our stellar chapter board members, committee chairs and volunteers in these remaining months.

Leading with integrity and passion,


Lauren Lawson-Zilai
PRSA NCC President