February 2018 President’s Message by Sabrina Kidwai | PRSA-NCC
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February 2018 President’s Message by Sabrina Kidwai

February 16, 2018

Dear PRSA-NCC members:

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone who asked me this question: "What type of work environment do you enjoy working in?" I mentioned a few things including collaborative, supports professional development, and an inclusive environment. She asked me to explain what I meant by being inclusive.

To me, it means that the organization is not only diverse in who works there, but it's open to hearing different opinions, being professionally respectful to others in the workspace, and open to trying new things and admitting when you fail and learning from it.

If you ask others, everyone will have different versions of how they define it. As communicators, it's important for us to remember that language is contextual. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences that shape how we take a word's definition and apply it in our lives.

Sometimes we use language that triggers a response, which we didn't intend or expect. It's critical we recognize it, embrace it and learn from it.

Since I started as a member, I've seen PRSA-NCC make strides in being more diverse and inclusive, but there's still work that needs to be done. PRSA national and PRSA-NCC are making it an organizational priority to increase the diversity of our membership. It was one of the main topics discussed at the International Conference in October.

The Mid-Atlantic District has created a committee to delve into how to improve diversity and inclusion for the district. If you want to volunteer and provide ideas, let me know.

In one of my previous jobs, the executive director told staff that if you have an issue with something happening in the office, please come and talk with her. However, she asked us to come to her office with not only the issue at hand, but you need to come in with ideas on how to solve it.

So, if you see something the chapter can do better, I want you to reach out to the board and let us know. The only thing I ask is you offer ideas on how we can improve or solve it.

Sincerely,

Sabrina Kidwai