Diversity in PR and is presented in partnership with SummersDirect Conferences & Events.
In the past year, it’s become clear that the conversation around diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging has fundamentally changed. Public Relations professionals are looking at their organizations, their departments, and themselves and reflecting on our own roles in protecting systemic norms that keep diverse professionals from moving up through organizations.
We’ve also seen our associations do the research and set goals for change. The big question? Are we simply being performative or are we actually driving results?
Join us as we look back at what has changed (and what hasn’t) in PR in the past year and what it means for innovation, service delivery and our own reputation as a profession.
Thank you to our generous sponsors:
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All Times are Listed in Eastern Time (UTC -4:00)
UK time, add 4 hours OR Convert your time zone here
8:30 – 8:55 a.m. Welcome and Trade Show Opens
8:55 – 9:05 a.m. Opening Remarks from the Chair, Advita Patel, Co-Founder of A Leader Like Me
9:05 – 9:50 a.m. Opening Keynote – to be announced
9:50 – 10:40 a.m. Panel: Performance and Progress – How our professional membership bodies are showing their commitment to DEI
Join representatives from PR and Communication associations as they discuss the progress they have made on diversity, inclusion and equity in our profession.
- The results of research conducted on the state of diversity in the professional around the world
- The actions taken and progress made in the past year
- The opportunities and challenges that lie ahead
Panelists: Gabrielle Loring, Katrina Marshall, Loretta Lam
Moderator: Jefferson Darrell
10:40 – 11:00 a.m. NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
11:00 – 11:40 a.m. Session to be announced
11:40 – 12:30 p.m. Panel: A Leader Like Me: Courage, Confidence and Career
Members of the A Leader Like Me come together for an honest conversation about the realities of navigating our PR industry as women of colour.
- What does it mean when you cannot see a leader like you
- Challenges and barriers often in the way of success
- What it means to find a community of support personally and professionally
Panelists: Teela Clayton, Naomi Smith, Nafisa Shafiq, Danielle Norris
12:30 – 1:00 p.m. NETWORKING/LUNCH BREAK/TRADESHOW
1:00 – 1:40 p.m. Bridging communication & DEI
Neil Griffiths, ABC, Chart.PR, IABC Fellow
Global Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion, ERM
2020 transformed DEI and communication in ways that many organizations are still grappling with.
As they raced to deal with the impacts of the pandemic and the shift in stakeholder expectations in light of the global protests for racial and social justice, communication teams were truly in the spotlight. Some were even called upon to drive the DEI agenda forward. During this ‘in conversation’ session, Neil Griffiths will talk about the transition from communication leader to Global Head o DE&I at Environmental Resources Management, the monthly drop-in sessions he hosted over the past year to support communicators working with DEI, as well as the skills and experience that communication professionals can bring into DEI work.
In terms of the questions for the conversation, something like these; let me know if you think of any others:
- Can you describe your career journey so far?
- How did you get into DEI?
- How are you tackling DEI at ERM? What progress have you made?
- What did you see happening with regards to comms & DEI over the past year or so?
- What kind of challenges were communicators facing?
- Is there an overlap between the skillset of a communication professional and someone leading on DEI?
- If someone is looking to get in DEI from a comms/PR background, what advice would you give?
1:40 – 1:50 p.m. STRETCH BREAK
1:50 – 2:40 p.m. Panel: New Approaches to DEI
Join Advita Patel & Priya Bates, Co-Founders of A Leader Like Me as they discuss new approaches to DEI
- The changing language from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to Belonging, Dignity and Justice
- New models that focus on actions and accountabilities
- How to move from performative to performance
2:40 – 3:00 p.m. NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
3:00 – 3:40 p.m. Session to be announced
3:40 p.m. Closing Remarks
3:40 – 4:00 p.m. NETWORKING + TRADESHOW
4:00 p.m. Conference Concludes
(Viewing on a mobile? Please rotate your phone for optimal viewing)
|Advita Patel (she/her), Co-Founder, A Leader Like Me||
|Katrina Marshall, Co-Author, Future PRoofed||
With nearly 20 years’ experience in journalism and communications, Katrina Marshall is a seasoned Barbadian journalist who cut her teeth in radio and television before moving onto communications and feature writing.
As a corporate communications and public relations professional her hallmarks are discretion, attention to detail and fastidious dedication to preparation and research.
Her current focus is telling the authentic stories of women whose experiences of race, gender and sexuality intersect. As an IABC conference speaker and co-author of public relations publication Future PRoofed she continues to move seamlessly within the UK’s communications and public relations industry as a founding member of the Public Relations and Communications Association Race Ethnicity and Equity Board.
A regular podcast guest and blog writer on diversity and inclusion, Katrina is most comfortable both in front of and behind the microphone.
But pre-covid19 this proud island girl could most likely and often be found whipping up sumptuous curries and stews for friends and family, where the rum and laughter flow freely.
|Gabrielle (Gabi) Loring, Senior Consultant, ROC Group||
Gabi is an award-winning communicator, project manager and creative thinker. She loves partnering with clients to deliver strategic, creative communications campaigns.
An active volunteer of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Gabi is currently the IABC DEI Committee Chair. For IABC Chicago, she served as president, secretary and volunteer director, and received the 2017 Karen Utterback Volunteer Award.
As a Senior Consultant with ROC Group, Gabi applies the science of communication to the art of workforce change and engagement. She has hands-on project leadership expertise and is skilled in complex delivery of multi-media strategies. She is valued by her clients and colleagues alike as both an efficient problem-solver and a creative guide.
Gab’s clients include Schneider Electric, RRD, LSC Communications, Donnelley Financial Solutions, Dover Corporation and Littelfuse. She specializes in topics including wellness, health, retirement, DEI and total rewards.
In her spare time, Gabi participates in a German Speakers Meetup Group; and supports the arts and her alma mater, Northern Illinois University.
|Loretta Lam, Chief Strategist & President, Focus Communications Inc.|
|Jefferson Darrell, Founder, Breakfast Culture||
Jefferson Darrell is an accomplished marketing communications and change management professional with more than 15 years of brand strategy expertise, generating earned and owned media using traditional and digital channels.
In the DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) space, Jefferson was instrumental in the creation of the Diversity Inclusion Anti-Racism Action Team at the Ontario Science Centre and represented them on the DEI Committee with the Canadian Association of Science Centres. He was instrumental in organizing the Centre’s involvement in the world’s first Pride in STEM Day. Jefferson’s change management project with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention resulted in increased revenue opportunities for the nonprofit by diversifying the organization’s development committee.
|Naomi MB Smith (she/her), Account Executive, Westco Communications||
Naomi MG Smith MCIPR is an Account Executive at Westco Communications, specialising in construction communications and community engagement for Westminster City Council’s Church Street regeneration programme.
Naomi is the youngest member of the CIPR Council (2021/22) and is an Accredited PR Practitioner. She was recently listed on PR Week’s 30 under 30, and as one of the most influential PR agency professionals in the world by Propel.
Nafisa Shafiq, Student Communications and Engagement Manager, University of Leeds
|Nafisa is a polyglot who has worked with global clients in the private and public sector. Nafisa is a founding member of A Leader Like Me and champions equality and inclusion. She is passionate about nurturing relationships, kindness and making communications clear, engaging and accessible to diverse audiences. Nafisa shares her comms journey and learnings through her blog. You can connect with her on most social media sites. She is most active on Twitter, her handle is @NafisaShafiq|
|Teela Clayton, Healthcare Comms, Intent Health||
Teela Clayton is a CIPR Accredited PR practitioner specialising in healthcare comms at Intent Health. Following an 11-year teaching career, Teela obtained a first-class Master’s degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communication at Leeds Beckett University to complement a PGCert in International Journalism. Her award-nominated thesis on the dissemination of political brand via Twitter was presented at BledCom2021 and she has co-authored on three published academic papers in various areas of PR and communication. In Autumn 2021, she will be starting a PhD research looking into the impact of UK media and Government communication on Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities during global pandemics at the Leeds Beckett University, UK. Teela is on the committee of CIPR Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, a member of the PRCA Misinformation in the Climate Crisis strategic group and a founding member of A Leader Like Me.
Danielle Norris, SCMP (she/her), RTOERO, Manager, Marketing and Communications
Danielle Norris is an award-winning communication professional with 15 years of experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. As a certified Strategic Communication Management Professional, she specializes in strategic planning, government relations, and community outreach. Danielle manages the marketing team at RTOERO, the largest national provider of non-profit group health benefits for education retirees in Canada.
In her spare time, Danielle utilizes her skills to support Black communications professionals and students through her volunteer role as a board member and director of education for the Ubora Network. Danielle also enjoys spending time with her family and inspiring a generation of readers through her Love of Literature book club program for Black youth.
In 2005, Danielle graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. She also attended Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, where she received her post-graduate diploma in corporate communications in 2006.
|Neil Griffiths (he/him), ABC, Chart.PR, IABC Fellow, Global Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion at ERM||
Neil Griffiths, ABC, Chart.PR, IABC Fellow is Global Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion at ERM, the world’s largest sustainability consultancy, where he is responsible for the global DE&I strategy and engagement plan. Neil’s background is varied, having spent the better part of 20 years in a series of external, brand, strategy and internal communication roles, before moving into DE&I. Neil has held leadership roles in a number of public, private and non-profit organisations.
In the volunteer space, Neil has held multiple leadership positions within the IABC and the Company of Communicators (CoC), which is one of the City of London’s modern Livery Companies. Volunteer highlights include being a member of the inaugural Global Communications Certification Council, Career Roadmap Committee member, Chair of the 2018 IABC World Conference (Montreal), Past Chair of IABC’s EMENA region and, as at November 2020, Junior Warden of the CoC.
Neil is a recipient of the IABC Regional Leader of the Year, Rae Hamlin and IABC Chair’s Awards. In 2019, Neil was named IABC Fellow, the highest honour bestowed on an IABC member.
Together with co-author Deborah Hinton, Neil has published two studies on the current and future state of the communication profession and advocates for channeling your best communication self regardless of where and how you work.
[LinkedIn / @negriff]
|Jordan Baptiste, Managing Director, Creative Fire||
Jordan Baptiste has deep roots in Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation shapes his ethos as a national business leader. With feet entrenched in both worlds, Jordan has spent the last decade connecting Indigenous communities and Indigenous businesses with industry. His nuanced understanding and community-first approach has helped him achieve meaningful change and help build organizations that thrive.
The son of one of Canada’s first Indigenous IT professionals, Jordan believes every Indigenous child (regardless of whether they live in an urban or remote setting) has the potential to be a trailblazer. He has been active in the field of educational reform as a steering committee member for numerous institutions developing Indigenous curriculum. He is currently the Vice Chair of STR8 UP – a grassroots organization working in Saskatoon’s core neighborhoods that supports and offers hope and healing to individuals as they transition from gang and street life towards a healthier lifestyle.
For Jordan, it’s always about taking a strength-based approach: focusing on the skills, knowledge, and expertise inherent within Indigenous communities. Representing a new generation of Indigenous Business Leaders, Jordan’s aim is to build collaborations in which Indigenous communities can chart their own path towards economic success.
2021 Conference Pricing
|Early Bird Rate
(until August 19, 2021)
(August 20 – October 14, 2021)
|Conference Ticket||$99.00 CAD
(approx. $75USD/ £58)
(approx. $115USD/ £87)
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 15 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $50 plus $5 for GST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 15 day period, you are also liable for the full fee. A Leader Like Me & SummersDirect Inc. reserve the right to change program date, meeting place or content without further notice and assumes no liability for these changes.