Excellence in PR is raceless

In the aftermath of the election of President Barack Obama, much was said about a potentially post-racial society. Are we really post racial?

In the aftermath of the election of President Barack Obama, much was said about a potentially post-racial society. Are we really post racial?

This week, we are presented our own “best and brightest” at the 2011 NBPRS Conference and Career Fair in Milwaukee. We have honored eight of those who could be among the crème de la crème on any list that recognizes excellence in our profession.

They are Kim Hunter, founder, president, and CEO of Lagrant Communications; Tina Dugas, senior associate, Bloom, Gross & Associates Executive Search Firm; Ken Smikle, president and founder of Target Market News; and Alicia Thompson, VP of communications and PR at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. The list also includes Julian Green, VP of communications and community affairs for the Chicago Cubs; Dr. Rochelle Ford, associate dean and associate professor of PR at Howard University School of Communications; Aprill O. Turner, PR professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

I marvel and am amazed at the depth and breadth of the knowledge base of these individuals and those within our network. That's what excites me most about the conference, whose theme this year is “The Network @ Work.”

I come to the conference to learn from those within our network. I've been educated, enriched, and inspired as much by my peers in the NBPRS network as I have in formal instruction on any job.

The more than 50 speakers, honorees, and panelists at the conference represent the kind of excellence that will leave our conference attendees enlightened and empowered to succeed.

If we are successful, conference attendees will be awe-inspired by presenters such as Ginny Clarke of Talent Optimization Partners, who contends that the job search should be an “opportunity search” to find what opportunity can take the best advantage of your gifts and talents.

Additionally, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, a former US Senator from Illinois, talked about her continual transformation from teacher, to lawyer, to the first African-American female US Senator, to ambassador, to entrepreneur.

McDonald's has textbook lessons on many things, but most especially diversity. My friend Pat Harris, McDonald's diversity officer, titled her diversity book on Ray Kroc's famous quote “None of us is as good as all of us.” That fits well with the mission and vision of the NBPRS.

So many individuals in our network epitomize excellence, and none of us are as good of all of us. We have much to be proud of together. They all are the thought leaders who are shaping and re-shaping our world.

For me, that's post-racial.

Wynona Redmond is president of the National Black Public Relations Society.

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