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July 15, 2013

PRSA Foundation Issues Call For Projects That Improve the Presence and Role of Under-represented Groups Within Public Relations

New York (July 15, 2013) – The PRSA Foundation has issued a call for proposals that highlight projects that improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of under-represented groups, particularly African Americans and US Hispanics/Latinos, in the public relations profession. 
“The public relations profession is lacking in diversity, and as professionals we are not keeping up with the progress being made in corporate America and in other professions,” said Lou Capozzi, PRSA Foundation president.  “The PRSA Foundation is striving to develop more cultural competency within the public relations profession and raise awareness around the issues contributing to racial and gender imbalance.”
Proposals should be for one-, two- or three-year programs and include a distribution plan of the project’s results, which will offer key takeaways for others in the industry. For the same reason, proposals that build upon best practices or pilots conducted in public relations or other professions are preferred.  Strong monitoring and evaluation plans must be built into the proposals. The diversity project grant funding levels vary, although the maximum amount awarded will be $25,000 per year. 
Based on a review of benchmark research from other professions, the organization has a particular interest in multi-faceted programs which include key elements such as recruitment and retention, curriculum enhancement, student coaching, networking, career coaching, career fairs, and continuity programs that allow professionals to develop a relationship with students early in their academic life, where they continue to work with the students up to and through internships and professional opportunities.
“We hope to mount programs in major urban areas with large numbers of minority students,” said Capozzi. “We expect the grantee to conduct the program in its own institution, and to act as a hub for activities at nearby educational institutions.”
 The PRSA Foundation also seeks proposals for a Public Relations Diversity Educational Summit to uncover best practices for increasing the pipeline of diverse students.  The summit would include university faculty and administrators, as well as thought leaders and executives representing PR firms and PR departments representing government, non-profit, corporate and other sectors.
Proposals must be submitted via email to by August 30, 2013 at 5 PM EST.  Questions may be directed to Wendy Gallo at (212) 460-1412 or  Awards will be announced at the end of October.
About the PRSA Foundation
The PRSA Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) charitable organization that raises funds to support diversity programs, scholarships and research projects that support the practice of public relations in serving the public good. For more information regarding the PRSA Foundation, its activities and its full board of trustees, visit

Contact: Wendy Gallo
PRSA Foundation Manager
(212) 460-1412
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