Social Impact Summit

It has become imperative for organizations to show that they are giving back to the communities in which they operate and are making strong progress in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion. As stakeholders examine who is living up to their promises, communicators must prove that their efforts will result in lasting social impact. PRNEWS’ Social Impact Summit will teach you how to build meaningful DEI and cause-related campaigns, programs and strategies as well as how to be an ally to underrepresented, marginalized communities.

  1. 12:00 pm - 12:05 pm


    • Erika Bradbury

      Erika Bradbury

      Editorial Director
  2. 12:05 pm - 12:35 pm

    Walking the Walk on Diversity

    The reignition of the BLM movement last year placed a new emphasis on brand promises around diversity, many of which, unfortunately, failed to deliver. But some organizations proved their words with actions. We’ll take a closer look at how they did it.

    • Sheila Milton

      Sheila Milton

      UW Credit Union
    • Iris Gonalez

      Iris Gonalez

      Executive Public Affairs Strategist
      Condista Networks
    • Darryl E. Owens

      Darryl E. Owens

      Director of Communication
      Beacon College
    • Andy Checo

      Andy Checo

      Havas Formula
  3. 12:35 pm - 12:50 pm

    An Inside Look: Leveraging PR to Influence Legislative Action

    Nearly half of Black-owned businesses endured a pandemic-induced business loss, yet there was little to no media coverage of this statistic. Learn how Black Creative Group worked to  meet its client’s goal of using the media’s voice to influence legislators to action.

    • Krystal Glass

      Krystal Glass

      PR & Strategic Communications Director
      Black Creative Group
  4. 12:55 pm - 1:25 pm

    Practicing Impactful Allyship

    An important key to true change, both inside and outside the workplace, is allyship. True allies work to drive inclusion for underrepresented communities. In this session, attendees will learn best practices for moving beyond performative allyship to making a real difference in these communities.

    • Melissa Vela-Williamson

      Melissa Vela-Williamson

      Chief Communication Architect
      MVW Communications
    • Meghnaa Tallapragada

      Meghnaa Tallapragada

      Assistant Professor
      Temple University
    • Miri Rodriguez

      Miri Rodriguez

      Head of Global Internship Program
    • Neil Foote

      Neil Foote

      Entrepreneur, Educator, Storyteller and Strategist
  5. 1:30 pm - 1:45 pm

    An Inside Look: AARP’s COVID-19 Response for the Latino Community

    Yvette Peña, VP of Hispanic/Latino Audience Strategy, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Jorge A. Plasencia, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO of Republica Havas, will discuss the challenges that COVID-19 generated specifically for the Latino community in the U.S., and the way in which AARP’s in-language COVID-19 Response helped Latinos aged 50+ and their families navigate the medical, financial and emotional impacts of the pandemic.

    • Yvette Peña

      Yvette Peña

      Vice President, Multicultural Leadership Hispanic/Latino Audience Strategy
    • Jorge Plascenica

      Jorge Plascenica

      Republica Havas
  6. 1:45 pm - 2:00 pm

    Inside Look: HE, SHE, THEY. Guide to Inclusive Language

    Learn how, with the launch of its original Brazilian series HE, SHE, THEY, HBO shed light on the use of inclusive language as a way to increase the visibility of the transgender and non-binary community. 

    • Eliana Paschoalin

      Eliana Paschoalin

      PR Director for Latin America
  7. 2:00 pm - 2:15 pm


  8. 2:15 pm - 2:30 pm

    An Inside Look: Unmasking Wounds, Connecting Lives

    Unmask Your Wounds started as a Final Year Project by five students from Taylor’s University, Malaysia. Inspired by King Lim’s life experience, these students were driven to make a change and raise awareness about mental health among the differently-abled community and their caregivers. With the vision of “Unmasking Wounds, Connecting Lives,” these students share their experiences, as well as the high and lows of running their campaign.

    • Janice Chai

      Janice Chai

      Undergraduate Student
      Taylor's University
    • Yeoh King Lim

      Yeoh King Lim

      Undergraduate Student
      Taylor's University
    • Tan Chee Xuan (Steph)

      Tan Chee Xuan (Steph)

      Undergraduate Student
      Taylor's University
  9. 2:35 pm - 3:05 pm

    Building Social Good PR Campaigns

    It’s clear that companies and communicators can do well in business while also benefiting society. Learn how some of our finalists accomplished their goals while working to better their respective communities.

    • Lisa Slappy

      Lisa Slappy

      Chief Communications Officer
      Lewis Price
    • Melissa Zuckerman

      Melissa Zuckerman

      Senior Vice President
      JPA Health
    • Pretti Shridhar

      Pretti Shridhar

      Deputy Public Affairs Adminstratior
      City of Renton
    • Nicole Schuman

      Nicole Schuman

      Senior Editor
  10. 3:10 pm - 3:25 pm

    An Inside Look: Reaching Native Americans Where They Are for National Epilepsy Awareness Month

    51,000 Native Americans live with active epilepsy within a population that knows very little about their illness. In 2020, the Epilepsy Foundation launched its first campaign to this community. Learn how this campaign disseminated education messaging to multiple tribal nations.

    • Leris Bernard

      Leris Bernard

      LERIS Media
  11. 3:30 pm - 3:55 pm

    Young Voices: What the Industry’s Rising Stars Want You to Know

    As both the industry and business world evolve, it’s imperative to understand the generational divide that both separates us and has the capacity to bring us closer together. Those at the start of their careers have a unique view of where we go from here and can offer a particular perspective on best practices for the cross-generational workplace. Learn what some of the industry’s up-and-comers see as challenges and opportunities for recruitment and retention in the workforce.

    • Omar Howard

      Omar Howard

      Graduate Public Relations Intern
    • Ariel Cooley

      Ariel Cooley

      Undergraduate Student
      Howard University
    • Natalie Green

      Natalie Green

      Undergraduate Student
      Elon University
    • Savasti Addison

      Savasti Addison

      Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition
  12. 3:55 pm - 4:00 pm

    Closing Remarks

  13. 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

    CSR & Diversity Virtual Awards Gala

    Find out who takes home top honors as we recognize this year's finalists for their commitment to social good, DEI and community empowerment as well as unveil the year's most impactful communicators. Join us for a night of celebration as we salute the campaigns, nonprofits, corporations, diverse teams, rising stars, lifelong pioneers, educators and more who drive the industry forward each day.


General Questions

For questions about the Social Impact Summit, please contact:

Devan Fishburne
Senior Marketing Coordinator
[email protected]


If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Dara Brooks
Sponsorship Sales
[email protected]