AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE STUDENTS: USING A CRITICAL RACE APPROACH TO EXPLORE DIVERSITY PEDAGOGY IN PUBLIC RELATIONS
Moore, Kynetta 1984-
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The purpose of this study was to explore African American female students’ perceptions and experiences with diversity in their public relations education. Additionally, the purpose of this study was to gain insight from the experiences of future African American female practitioners preparing for public relations careers. To frame this study, the critical race theory (CRT) was explored to investigate to what extent diversity pedagogy (e.g., race, ethnicity, and culture) was included in students’ training both inside and outside the classroom. The study used qualitative one-on-one, in-depth interviews with African American female public relations students. Findings suggest that students’ perceive their experiences with diversity in public relations curriculum have not armed them to tackle demographic disparities in the workforce. Furthermore, students reported that diversity initiatives or acknowledgement outside the classroom (e.g., internships and industry-related organizations) were scarce. This study expanded diversity theory in public relation research by providing scholars guidance on how to improve diversity theory and research in public relations scholarship and programs that can be applied in the workforce to embrace diversity initiatives, training, and advancement. Practical implications include cues to action and suggested factors communicators can employ to improve diversity pedagogy in public relations training.
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