The LGBTQ Experience in Public Relations: Stories that Shaped Our Profession, Our Values and Our Future


The LGBTQ Experience in Public Relations - Stories that Shaped Our Profession, Our Values and Our Future

Event Overview

Join us for the industry’s first-ever event to celebrate our field’s thriving LGBTQ community…and hear the previously untold personal stories of some of the top leaders in public relations.

When: Thursday, June 6, 2019, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Where: 150 East 42 Street (between 3rd and Lexington Avenues), New York

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, you’ll hear how the Gay Rights movement has benefitted the lives of our colleagues — most notably, in legalizing same-sex marriage — and also how far we have to go. For instance, there are still no federal laws to protect gay and lesbian professionals from being discriminated at work, forcing many of our colleagues to remain “in the closet” for years.

While our panelists represent a wide range of generations, ethnic backgrounds and geographies, the personal challenges they’ve faced as LGBTQ professionals are strikingly similar.  And despite the field’s drive toward greater diversity, bias still exists.

Ever since the Stonewall Uprising, public relations strategies have played a key role in the national Gay Rights movement, in framing the narrative, getting the message out and molding public opinion.

 As we welcome a new generation of LGBTQ professionals to our industry, the next wave of Gay Rights activism might very well be in their hands.

Keynote: Scott Widmeyer, Chief Strategy Officer, Finn Partners

Panel I: Where we’ve been

  • Chiqui Cartagena, author, former senior vice president, Political and Advocacy, Univision

  • Del Galloway (host and master of ceremonies), vice president, Communications, Wells Fargo

  • Cathy Renna, managing partner, Target Cue

  • Bob Witeck, founder and president, Witeck Communications

Panel II: Where we’re going 

  • Troy Blackwell, director, PRSA-NY Big Apple Awards

  • Dr. Erica Ciszek, assistant professor, University of Texas – Austin

  • Jim Joseph, global president, Burson Cohn & Wolfe

  • Drew McCaskill, senior vice president, Global Communications, Nielsen

  • Dr. Brenda Wrigley, associate professor, Curry College and Emerson College

A networking reception will follow the panel discussion.

The event will be live streamed on our Facebook page.