The VP of communications and social responsibility for WNBA team New York Liberty highlights how her organization advocates for social justice.
Maria Garcia and Michelle Patrick
Each day brings about newly consequential, societal change. News coverage regularly reports on an increase in anti-LGBTQ violence, mass demonstrations following police killings of people of color and state bans on reproductive rights. Consequently, companies can no longer remain on the sidelines and simply focus on maximizing their profits.
As a result, communicators must help their organizations navigate and address life-changing sociopolitical issues. This is in addition to their long list of traditional responsibilities. While some may shy away or become overwhelmed with the challenge, Alesia Howard, vice president of communications and social responsibility for the WNBA’s New York Liberty, embraces it.
“Part of my job is to watch, publicize and advocate for women’s basketball, and the athletes who play the game,” said Howard. “It’s very near and dear to my heart. As a former athlete, it gives me a sense of community.”
Now in her fourth season with the Brooklyn-based professional basketball team, Howard shares how communicators can help organizations address social justice issues. It starts with tapping into one’s own humanity.
“Be honest, authentic and timely,” said Howard. “Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations with your leaders because it’s important to bring diverse views to the table. Whatever message your organization shares publicly, it should be authentic to the company’s voice.”