While entering my freshman year at Illinois State, I made the decision to become a Women’s and Gender Studies minor after I took a class titled, Introduction to LGBTQ Studies. In this class, I was exposed to the incredible history and impact of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer folks. Learning about past social movements, cultures and reflecting on my classmates’ thoughts and ideologies, I was inspired to proceed in this minor. Each semester, I was taking new courses that were not only educating me on the LGBTQ+ community, I was noticing my growth as an individual.
The curriculum is aimed to impact and challenge students. The lessons learned and the language that is cultivated within WGS courses have encouraged me to intervene in situations that generate change. Now proceeding as a WGS minor with a concentration is Queer Studies, my most significant goal is to use my awareness and ability to ask critical questions about myself in a professional work setting.
This past October, PRSA is celebrating Diversity and Inclusion month. By addressing the lack of diversity within the industry and improving the overall culture of public relations, I believe that this organization is taking the right steps benefit marginalized groups and LGBTQ+ professionals. Today, creating an inclusive and diverse public space within agency, corporate or institutional PR, is one of the most important factors that is valued and prioritized. While emerging myself in WGS courses, I have gained a new perspective on re-imagining what true diversity is while attending a public university and becoming more involved in PRSSA.
While developing a campaign or networking with potential employers or colleagues, being educated on recent social issues and movements can raise strategies that will increase consciousness within the industry. Now, the PRSA National Diversity and Inclusion Committee encourages all members to celebrate diversity this month by using #PRDiversity and follow @PRSADiversity to join the conversation.
By: Mia Rusch
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.