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Annual Diversity & Inclusion Forum – Good Trouble: Effecting Change and Diversifying the Profession

“Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” – John Lewis tweet, June 2018

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and its affiliated chapters celebrate October as Global Diversity and Inclusion Month. 

Statistics bear out that the public relations profession is overwhelmingly white. An oft-heard narrative is that it is difficult for companies and organizations to find talent from communities of color. “Not so” is the response from some of the state’s top recruiters and diversity and inclusion experts. The Minnesota chapter of PRSA invited these specialists to bring their expertise to the table on Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon. They will provide thoughts and tips to encourage managers and HR professionals to think outside the white box to embrace diversity. The panel will also address the necessity of cultural competency.

During this Global Diversity and Inclusion Month, the chapter is heeding the call-to-action by the late Congressman John Lewis to get in “good trouble, necessary trouble” by exploring what some view as a challenge to recruit and retain talent of color. 

This is one of many programs Minnesota PRSA is hosting this year that focuses on diversity and inclusion. 

Registrants may submit questions or topics for the panel in advance at:

The virtual forum features an impressive lineup:


Kyndell Harkness, Assistant Managing Editor of Diversity and Community, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Kyndell Harkness recently began her new role as Assistant Managing Editor of Diversity and Community at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Before stepping into this job, Harkness was a photo editor for more than five years, coordinating coverage of the Ryder Cup, two Olympics, the Super Bowl, Final Four and breaking news such as Prince’s death and occupations and protests after police shootings. 

Before assuming the position of editor, Kyndell spent more than two decades as a photojournalist, working 15 years at the Star Tribune covering communities across the state.  She has taught as a photo instructor at a high school journalism camp called “J Camp” for 15 years that champions diversity of voices. Kyndell is also truly a part of the sandwich generation, living with her son, who is 10, and her mother, who is 82.


Miquel Purvis McMoore, Founder & President, kpCompanies
Miquel describes herself as a Mother, Sister, Daughter, Friend as well as an Entrepreneur, Recruiter, Coach, Mentor and Mentee. Her relationship connections are key to both her personal and professional lives, and on any given day, she is fluidly and adeptly adding quality and value to all. “It isn’t juggling – it is life!”

There is a fine art to networking very few have. For Miquel, it’s a natural gift, first displayed as Student Government President at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina.

Her strength lies in her ability to build key relationships with others. Miquel’s savvy in identifying team leaders and ideal opportunities helped create sales projects worth $1.5 million dollars during her time at US West Communications (Qwest). But she also had the enviable grace and talent to guide Minneapolis students towards their dreams as a business teacher at Patrick Henry Public High School.

Growing up in a city where music gave birth to the Minneapolis Sound of Prince and Soul Asylum, Miquel’s extensive musical connections gave her the chance to develop new business relationships. Her six-year stint as President and CEO of Plug, Inc. provided artist management services and promoted local and national concerts.

But it was the challenge of listening to and fulfilling the needs of clients that made Miquel return to the business world. She served as a consultant for E-Praxis Technologies, researching and planning new business development strategies for small companies looking to gain a foothold in the growing Twin Cities corporate community.

Today, Miquel Purvis McMoore is the President and Owner of kpCompanies. She is capitalizing on her gift of bringing mid-career and executive level candidates and corporations together. Established in 2000, the company places top-notch professional and executive talent with multinational, US Fortune 500, mid-size and small companies such as United Health Group, Medtronic, Anderson Windows and 7-Sigma, just to name a few. Because of McMoore’s knack for getting into places the big companies can’t, her placement ratio is high – one out of every 3 candidates her team represents to its clients gets placement.

While Miquel is a natural at business entrepreneurship and excels in her chosen field of recruiting, she backs up her gifts with solid schooling. She received her MBA from the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management. Her undergraduate degree is from Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC.

When she isn’t networking and using her spot-on matchmaking skills at kpCompanies, you’ll find Miquel enjoying her children and spending family time with music, arts and sports.

Sharon Smith-Akinsanya, CEO, Rae Mackenzie Group, Inc. and Founder, People Of Color Careers™
Sharon Smith-Akinsanya is CEO of Rae Mackenzie Group – a diversity, equity and inclusion marketing firm. She recently launched People Of Color Careers™ Social Hiring Network ( for Professionals of Color to connect with top employers and land their dream careers. And, she's the author of COLORFULL: Competitive Strategies to Attract and Retain Top Talent of Color.

Angel Uddin, Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
Angel Uddin leads diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Prior to joining Blue Cross in August 2019, Uddin worked at Bremer Bank as the talent acquisition and diversity inclusion manager. She has more than three decades of experience in leadership development, business strategy, project management and conflict resolution. She is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and a certified life coach. 

Uddin holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on leadership and management from Capella University. She is a board member at Neighborhood House, a nonprofit multi-service agency based in St. Paul. As an active member of Greater MSP Enterprise Team and the Twin Cities Diversity Inclusion Roundtable, Uddin works collaboratively with other diversity and inclusion practitioners with a focus on racial equity. 
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. A nonprofit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.9 million members in Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its affiliated companies. Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Minnesota and Blue Plus® are nonprofit independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.


Friday, October 30, 2020; 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Central Time 


Online via Zoom, with breakout rooms. Access information will be sent prior to the event.


Members: FREE
Students: FREE
Non-Members: $20

Thank you to our Annual Sponsors:





Friday, October 30, 2020, 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Registration is required before Friday, October 30, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Payment In Full In Advance Only
No Fee
No Fee
No Fee