While working on my thesis in graduate school, I found very little information concerning Black female professors in public relations. This lack of information further piqued my interest, and what I found through my own research was what I believed to be a vital piece to the public relations industry. While studying this group, I found that black female professors are an anomaly. They bring so many different assets to the table that it’s extremely important to make sure they’re included in every aspect of the public relations profession, especially public relations education.
Black female professors operate as teachers and practitioners of the discipline, bringing different cultural perspectives and experiences to the table which add to, and enrich, their experiences as educators. Adding and retaining these women to the academy and attributing their experiences within the current body of knowledge is vital to the sustainability of public relations. The knowledge, insight and skills that they pass on to their students is invaluable. Having Black female professors in the classroom sends the message that public relations isn’t a monolithic profession. It teaches the soon to be professionals in those classrooms the value and reality of the diversity that will become a part of their everyday lives as public relations professionals.
Black women in the classroom is, in my opinion, an inevitable path that public relations will have to take to move closer towards the goal of diversifying the field and reaffirming its relevance. It is also one of the best moves to be made to give students a priceless experience that equips them for the world outside of the classroom.
Submitted by Keeyana Hall. Keeyana is an independent public relations consultant in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her areas of specialization and interest in public relations include diversity, higher education, entertainment, lifestyle and non-profit.
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