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Marsha R. Pitts-Phillips Receives National Diversity and Inclusion Honor from PRSA

 | Published on 10/26/2020

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Ayme Zemke
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Marsha R. Pitts-Phillips Receives National Diversity and Inclusion Honor from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
Local Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leader recognized with D. Parke Gibson Award



MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 26, 2020
 – Marsha R. Pitts-Phillips, president and founder of MRPP & Associates Communications, LLC, will be awarded the D. Parke Gibson Award from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the nation’s leading organization for communication professionals. The award is one of seven that will be presented to individuals at the virtual PRSA ICON Conference October 26-29.

This national award is PRSA’s highest individual honor presented to a PR professional who has contributed to increased awareness of public relations within multicultural communities and participated in promoting issues that meet the needs of these diverse communities. D. Parke Gibson was a pioneer in multicultural public relations. He was the founder of the first Black-owned PR firm, D. Parke Gibson International, in New York in 1960.

A long-time advocate for diversity, Pitts-Phillips was instrumental in establishing the Multicultural Scholarship Endowment in collaboration with the PRSA Foundation and the PRSA National Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which will empower rising diverse talent in the public relations industry. Pitts-Phillips was unanimously elected PRSA Minnesota Chapter’s Diversity and Inclusion Officer in 2019. This was the nation’s first full-voting, Board-level PRSA Diversity and Inclusion Officer position. In this role, she has focused on developing programs, initiatives and partnerships aimed at greater inclusion and understanding among chapter members and those in the local community of practice. In addition, Pitts-Phillips is a frequent speaker and writer on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We are incredibly proud of Marsha’s accomplishments and grateful for her leadership for the entire Chapter,” said Dan Hauser, President, Minnesota PRSA. “She has been a true diversity and inclusion champion, leading our Chapter in its ongoing efforts to achieve racial justice for all members and future members.”  

Pitts-Phillips is an accomplished communication leader whose career has included broadcast journalism, non-profit PR leadership and strategic consultation. She has shared her experience and expertise with the next generation of PR professionals as an adjunct faculty member at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication (HSJMC) at the University of Minnesota and at the University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business. She was appointed in 2019 and 2020 as an HSJMC Distinguished Diversity and Inclusion Fellow. Pitts-Phillips also serves on several boards and is an ordained minister.  

Read PRSA National’s ICON award announcement.


About PRSA: The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community. PRSA is the principal advocate for industry excellence and ethical conduct and provides members lifelong learning opportunities and leading-edge resources to enhance professional connections and support them at every stage of their career. With more than 30,000 members, PRSA is collectively represented in all 50 states by more than 110 Chapters and 14 Professional Interest Sections, and on nearly 375 college and university campuses through its student organization, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). For more information, please visit www.prsa.org.

About Minnesota PRSA: Minnesota PRSA is the ninth-largest chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the world’s largest organization for public relations professionals with nearly 32,000 professional and student members. Minnesota PRSA’s membership is comprised of more than 300 corporate, agency, independent, non-profit and government public relations professionals from Minnesota, the Dakotas and western Wisconsin.