Marsha Pitts-Phillips has been named the Minnesota chapter of Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) diversity and inclusion officer.
At its annual meeting in December, Minnesota chapter members unanimously passed several bylaw amendments including one that created the nation’s first full-voting, board-level diversity and inclusion officer position to serve as part of the chapter’s executive committee. Pitts-Phillips, a long-time advocate for diversity throughout her career in communications, was unanimously elected to fill this new role at the group’s January board meeting.
“I am honored, humbled and excited to be at the forefront of this initiative and take this responsibility very seriously,” Pitts-Phillips said. “Having the full weight of the board, leadership and membership behind this is extremely important to create progress, and we have that. As members of the communications profession, we are at a time to join in on the discussion – and – to take action surrounding diversity and inclusion.”
While other chapters have previously created Diversity and Inclusion committees, Minnesota PRSA is the first to incorporate a full-voting, board-level position into its executive committee. Pitts-Phillips said she plans to draw from past professional experiences in the Twin Cities community – as a working broadcast journalist, non-profit public relations leader and individual communications consultant – to develop relevant programs, initiatives and partnerships aimed at greater inclusion and understanding among chapter members and those in the local community of practice.
“Diversity and inclusion is a business imperative and should be woven into the fabric of, and reflected by, every professional entity.” Pitts-Phillips said. “In the case of Minnesota PRSA, we will utilize the basic tenets of good research to better understand what has been done, and how we can, moving forward, reflect the values we stand for through our programming and interactions with the broader community.”
“We have an exciting and aggressive agenda in the year to come, and I couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Marsha to take meaningful steps when it comes to the diversity and inclusion opportunity both for our chapter as well as the profession more broadly,” said Gregory Zimprich, president of Minnesota PRSA.