District Conference Preview – Breaking Barriers: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (California State University Fullerton 2022)

This article is part of our 2022 District Conference coverage series. For more information on PRSSA District Conferences, click here.

  1. How did you arrive at your conference theme and what can members expect to see at this conference?

The California State University, Fullerton’s PRSSA Chapter is excited to present our District Conference — Breaking Barriers: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. The theme for our Conference will address some of the most important challenges being discussed by today’s communications professionals in DE&I and will be held April 8–9.

Our Chapter and executive board felt that as a diverse campus, we wanted to reflect the diversity in our programming and highlight the importance of equity in the workplace. Attendees can look forward to incredible speakers from across the nation discussing all aspects of D&I in the communications industry. More specifically, professionals will be speaking on their careers and showcase campaigns that have successfully tackled social justice issues in a professional, accurate and educational way. 

  1. Is your conference virtual or in person? If it’s virtual, what are some of the platforms being used?

Our Conference will be held virtually, offering the most accessibility to Chapters, students and professionals from across the country. We felt that hosting our Conference virtually would provide the safest, most comfortable experience for our guests, as well as allow us to network and converse with our masks down.

We are committed to investing in students across the nation and value the benefits that a virtual format provides for both professionals and students alike. We are excited to provide a new and immersive experience for our attendees and will be announcing the platform, as well as all of its features on our Instagram, @CSUFPRSSA, soon.

  1. Tell me about the speaker/session that excites you the most. Why should members tune in for this?

The session I am personally most excited about is the, Past The Screen: Taking D&I Further Than Social Media Panel, which will be hosted by industry professionals with experience in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion on their company’s social media platforms. Ultimately, they are championing the issue of performative activism and ensuring that their social media campaigns offer real change for individuals.

This session will show students and professionals how to promote diversity and inclusion in tangible ways within their own spheres of influence. More importantly, it will tie everything learned during the conference together and help attendees apply what they learn to their professionals and personal lives.  

  1. Do you have any planned networking events? How will your conference allow members to connect?

Networking is an integral part in any event, as such, we plan to have a networking segment on March 5th to allow attendees to reflect on what they learned and exchange contact information. The platform we use will help make it easier for attendees to connect with each other by offering specific break-out rooms. 

We will encourage members to make their professional social media profiles accessible by downloading and sharing the QR code for their LinkedIn profile. As well as promote that students can find free business card templates on Canva, which can be shared as a virtual ‘business card exchange’ during the conference. 

  1. How can members make the most of their conference experience?

Attendees can get the most out of their Conference experience by making sure that their internet is stable, and that they are able to clearly hear the audio. You’d want to be in an area that has the best internet connection for this large-scale event. 

The second is framing and lighting. Try to position your laptop so that the camera is at the same level as your eyes, all while making sure your head doesn’t touch the edges of the window view. Natural light is the most flattering light source when it comes to working with cameras so try to be in a bright place to avoid noise and distortion.  

Third and most importantly is reciprocation. We have people coming from all over the nation that will listen not only to professionals but also to attendees. So students should be ready to engage with them. Updated resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and relevant work samples should be ready before the Conference. Interested students should take time to research the Conference programming to tailor their questions and be open to sharing their experiences because everyone has a story to tell.  

  1. Anything else you would like to share?

To learn more about the conference or if you plan to register, please visit our website. Follow us on our Instagram  @CSUFPRSSA for updates on the conference. For any questions or concerns please email them to csufprssa@gmail.com.

Cesar Villa is a senior at CSUF majoring in communications with an emphasis in public relations and pursuing a digital media certificate. He currently serves as the vice president of outreach for CSUF’s PRSSA Chapter and director of outreach for the Western District Conference. He is interested in pursuing a career in the tech industry. In his free time, he likes to read, work on his car or hike with his dog. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

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