Mark your calendars! Join us for our next GFW PRSA Virtual Program on Friday, July 31!
Across the globe, protesters took to the streets after George Floyd died while in custody of Minneapolis police. People of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds marched to seek justice for Floyd and to support Black Lives Matter, a movement started in 2013 to “build local power and to intervene when violence was inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” The protests have awakened the consciousness of the nation, calling for an overhaul of the criminal justice system at all levels of government and a dismantling of systemic racism and white supremacy.
In addition to calling for systemic change, white Americans have been challenged to listen to African Americans and learn more about the racial injustices people of color face both at an individual and a societal level. At our June program, which happens to fall on Juneteenth, we will hear from the co-hosts of Blackbelt Voices, a podcast that “propagates the richness of Black Southern culture by telling the stories of Black folks down South.”
Through first-person narratives and in-depth conversations, hosts Adena J. White, Kara Wilkins and Katrina Dupins share the experiences of Black Southerners living in, loving, and reconciling with the region they call home. During this program, Adena, Kara and Katrina – all professional communicators – will talk about how Blackbelt Voices came to be, the importance of media representation, and adapting messages to resonate with different audiences.
• Adena J. White, APR is an accredited public relations professional with more than a decade of experience in strategic communication and storytelling. She is the director of communications for the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and the 2019 president of the Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She is currently the secretary of the PRSA Southwest District.
A strong believer in the power of storytelling for social change, Adena founded Blackbelt Media LLC in 2017, which produces the Blackbelt Voices podcast. The podcast propagates the richness of Black Southern culture by telling stories from and about Black folks down South.
Adena obtained a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and journalism with an emphasis in public relations from Arkansas Tech University. She later completed a master’s degree in applied communication studies from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
• Kara Wilkins is a solutions-focused communications and community engagement consultant, with an extensive background in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She has over a decade of experience working with diverse communities to create innovative solutions to improve health and human equity.
Prior to her role as owner and principal consultant at KWilkins Consulting Group, Kara worked at the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, where she honed her skills in communications, outreach, public policy, development, and advocacy/government relations.
• Katrina Dupins is a professional communicator who writes features about people whose circumstances tend to change their perspective on life.
Katrina joined UAMS in 2013 as media relations manager. Before going to UAMS, she spent seven years at KATV Channel 7 where she worked in several positions, including video editor, production assistant and field producer. Katrina earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arkansas Tech University.
She spends free mornings jogging or scoping out the best places to enjoy a quiet sunrise. She enjoys cooking, gardening and photography.