The PRCA’s Race and Ethnicity Equity Board (REEB) has urged PR and communications professionals to think carefully before engaging with Black History Month.
As the UK Black History Month passes the halfway mark, REEB has advised industry professionals to consider their organisations’ track records on issues of race and ethnicity before sharing content relating to Black History Month.
Black History Month originated in the United States and is intended to commemorate important people and events in the history of African diaspora.
PRCA REEB Chair Barbara Phillips FPRCA said:
“As a multi ethnic board of predominantly Black members we hold mixed views about Black History Month. We spend 11 out of 12 months watching many leading industry figures remain resolutely inactive in increasing racial diversity within the PR and comms industry.
“It’s not surprising that this annual jolt of consciousness fights its way through only each October, if at all. Coupled with the expectation that many of our REEB board members are asked to speak at events (for free), join in activity (for which there was zero collaboration or consultation) and generally expected to be beside ourselves with joy that White leaders in our industry are making a cursory glance our way.
“Let’s be clear, REEB believes UK Black history is actually British history. That being the case, it should be celebrated every day. And every time someone who is not White enjoys some modicum of success within PR & comms – they make a little bit of history. Such is the dire state of our industry. So please join us in celebrating our stories, contributions and success, but if it’s only in October – then please don’t.”