Our differences and our strengths: a celebration of diversity and inclusion

September 16, 2019

Our differences and our strengths: a celebration of diversity and inclusion
S.C. Public Relations Society of America joins with Claflin University to host special public event

ORANGEBURG, SC ─ Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), an association for communications professionals, celebrates diversity and inclusion during the month of October. The South Carolina chapter, SCPRSA, kicks off the celebration with its Claflin University student chapter on Thursday, Sept. 26. The event titled “Our Differences and Our Strengths When Communicating to Diverse Audiences,” includes a panel discussion and networking session. It takes place from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Claflin University Grace Thomas Kennedy Business & Communications Building Auditorium, Orangeburg.

The event, featuring five distinguished panelists, is free and open to the public, and will be livestreamed by the Claflin’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) on the group’s Facebook page. It will also be shown on the SCPRSA Facebook page.

Claflin University, The Citadel and University of South Carolina are all sponsors of event. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Claflin University among the top 10 historically black colleges and universities for the ninth consecutive year.

“We are excited to help host this event at our historic university and for all of the individuals that it will bring together here on Claflin University’s campus, and at the other campuses across South Carolina where students will be watching the livestream,” said Deontre’ McCray, president of the Claflin University PRSSA chapter hosting the event. “It is an honor to help craft this diversity and inclusion panel. I am grateful we have the opportunity to celebrate and recognize our differences and strengths in
the workplace and beyond.”

Gathering across South Carolina to view “Our Differences and Our Strengths” panel

Communications professionals in the Columbia area, who cannot make it to Orangeburg, are invited to join the University of South Carolina PRSSA chapter to view the livestream of the panel and to network. That gathering begins at 5:30 p.m. in room 318 in the university’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications located at 800 Sumter St. Contact kellydavis@sc.edu for parking information.

PRSSA chapters at Anderson University and Clemson Universities will also gather to watch the event.

“Diversity and inclusion is integral for success in society today, especially in the workforce. This event will bring civil rights, business and higher education leaders together to discuss how to be inclusive in communications intended for diverse audiences,” said Ore Oluwole, board chair of diversity and inclusion for SCPRSA and senior director of communications for My Carolina Alumni Association. “This partnership with SCPRSA and Claflin University’s newly formed PRSSA chapter is another step in the
right direction as we create more conversations pertaining to diversity and inclusion.”

“Our Differences and Our Strengths” panelists

Cleveland Sellers, Past President of Voorhees College, Orangeburg massacre survivor
Cleveland Sellers is an educator and icon of the civil rights movement and is known for his messages on justice, equality and peace. Throughout the 1960s, Sellers organized protests, marches and sit-ins and was the program director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Sellers, the former president of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, was also a professor and director of the African-American Studies program at the University of South Carolina.

Cecil Williams, Cecil Williams Photography
For more than sixty years, Orangeburg native Cecil J. Williams has photographed powerful moments in civil rights history. His internationally acclaimed Cecil Williams Museum was established this year and displays 350 images of the Civil Rights Movement, but from the perspective of the South Carolina events that changed America. Williams began photography at age nine and covered almost all historically significant events in South Carolina; from 1950 Briggs v. Elliot in Summerton, through the 1969
Charleston Hospital Workers' Strike and beyond.

Shawn Edwards, chief diversity officer at The Citadel
Shawn Edwards represents the institution publicly on diversity and inclusion related activities. In her role, she develops strategies to address diversity challenges in recruitment and retention of faculty and staff. She directs, manages and maintains The Citadel Affirmative Action Plan.

Charnita Mack, public relations and social media coordinator at Claflin University
Charnita Mack is responsible for assisting with promotion of the university through media relations, as well as developing strategy for and handling the university’s social media accounts.

Jesa Parker, Unit Marketing Specialist for Sodexo Incorporated
Jesa Parker is responsible for the implementation, tracking and reporting of marketing for three Sodexo accounts in South Carolina and is the direct contact for on-campus Marketing inquires. In her role, she trains, coordinates and supports creating exceptional student experiences including customer service training and employee highlights.

For more information, please contact Ore Oluwole at oluwole@mailbox.sc.edu or call (803) 576-6005.

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