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Annual DEI Forum

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: From Awareness to (Affirmative?) Action

One step forward, two steps back. Such has been the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in 2023. 

There was the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on affirmative action impacting college and university admissions that have reverberated across campuses and spilled into workplaces. There are ongoing book bans. The criticism of Bud Light for working with a transgender influencer. And DEI roles disappearing…the list goes on and on.

The aforementioned challenges – including others ranging from backlash over Pride Month merchandise (and its subsequent removal) from Target stores and attacks on mosques and temples – are set against the backdrop of progress; Juneteenth is now a recognized federal and state holiday. 

What is the historical context for these current issues? Where do we go from here? How do public relations practitioners and communicators lead in mitigating bias and increasing belonging? What are your questions?

Join us Tuesday, October 3, for Minnesota PRSA’s annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Forum featuring a panel of nationally recognized DEI experts and an executive communicator. These panelists are regularly sought out to speak about equity and social justice, whether guiding organizations in creating inclusive cultures, ensuring gender affirming care services or launching racial justice initiatives to propel meaningful change. This is sure to be an empowering discussion for public relations practitioners and communicators as the panel delves into a multifaceted array of DEI topics. Attendees and panelists will also have an opportunity during breakout sessions to further explore learnings and to share DEI best practices utilized in their work environments.


Meghann D. Oglesby, national host and producer at American Public Media


Dr. Yohuru Williams, Distinguished University Chair and Professor of History and Founding Director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas

Hillery Smith Shay, Vice President, Marketing & Communications for Children’s Minnesota

Dr. Ramon A. Pastrano IV, D.Min, MSM, MATS, CO-USNR-R, founder of Third Sphere LLC, a center for transformational leadership in cultural competence, social innovation and entrepreneurship

Date & Time:

Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023

8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Central


  • 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. – Breakfast and check-in (Catered by Flame Mobile Kitchen)
  • 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. – Panel
  • 10:00 - 10:30 a.m. – Breakouts
  • 10:30 - 11:00 a.m. – Wrap-Up


Location & Parking:

NorthPoint Health & Wellness Conference Center
1256 Penn Ave N, 5th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55411
There is a free parking ramp attached to NorthPoint.


PRSA Members: $25
IABC Members: $25
Students and Job Seekers: FREE (Limited to 20 spots)*
Non-Members: $35
*Limited to the first 20 registrants who register using the code DEI2023.


Please request any accommodations by Wednesday, Sep. 27.



Thank you to our Annual Sponsors!

2023 Diamond Sponsor

2023 Emerald Sponsors

2023 Sapphire Sponsors

Tuesday, October 3, 2023, 8:30 AM until 11:00 AM Central Time (US & Canada) (UTC-06:00)
NorthPoint Health & Wellness Conference Center
1256 Penn Ave N, 5th Floor
Minneapolis, MN  55411
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Leah M Kondes
Registration is required before Friday, September 29, 2023 at 5:00 PM
Payment In Full In Advance Only