REEB – originally announced as the BAME Advisory Board – will be led by Strategic Communications Consultant Barbara Phillips MPRCA, who has also joined the PRCA Board of Directors with immediate effect.
Its purpose is to ensure the PRCA – as well as the broader PR industry – adopts a best practice approach to racial and ethnic equity.
The PRCA has also committed to announcing further changes to the composition of its Board of Directors to ensure greater representation of Black and ethnic minority professionals before its AGM in September this year.
The PRCA Board of Directors met last month and voted unanimously to cement REEB in the organisation’s governance structure by awarding it Standing Committee status. The move ensures issues of race and ethnic equality are raised and acted upon at every PRCA Board meeting.
REEB, which is comprised of 13 founding members, has published a Terms of Reference document outlining its vision for the PRCA and the PR industry. It will oversee the update to the diversity module of the CMS Accreditation scheme and work with the Association to ensure event speakers and panellists reflect diverse audiences.
Barbara Phillips, Chair of PRCA Race and Ethnicity Equity Board said:
“I am delighted to accept the appointment of founding Chair of the Race and Ethnicity Equity Board. As founding Board members, our mission is to achieve both immediate and long-term proportional racial equity within the PR and communications industry. This starts with discontinuing the use of the term BAME as it doesn’t accurately describe each community’s different lived experience.
“We appreciate and support the work being completed in our industry around diversity but feel our work is best focused on race. This is where there is sustained damage and this is the aspect of our profession that needs singular attention, if every Black and racially diverse person who enters into the PR and communications industry is to enjoy an equitable opportunity to thrive and succeed unhindered.
“We applaud the PRCA for taking the necessary steps to diversify its Board of Directors, for committing to regular scrutiny, and for fully supporting the Race and Ethnicity Equity Board’s pivotal agenda.”
Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director-General, PRCA said:
“We have spent the past few weeks listening to colleagues and hearing directly about the unacceptable levels of discrimination faced by Black and ethnic minority professionals in our industry.
“The truth is our Board of Directors has, until now, reflected the composition of our industry rather than our aspirations for it. I am grateful to Barbara and the founding members of REEB for their commitment to helping us achieve long-lasting and overdue cultural change in our industry. We will reveal further changes to the composition of our Board in the weeks ahead.”
Rax Lakhani CMPRCA, Chairman of the PRCA Diversity Network commented:
“I fully welcome the PRCA establishing the new Race and Ethnicity Equity Board (REEB) and am delighted to have been invited to be a member. Barbara and the other Board members have already made great steps in tackling the many urgent issues that the PRCA needs to address around race and ethnicity on behalf of the wider PR and communications industry.”