Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ally-in-Progress dinner discusses adversity

Many like to think of themselves as an ally, but with the help of Public Relations Campaigns students and faculty are now learning how to be an Ally-in-progress. 

PRE 466 is an advanced, academic service-learning course focused on crafting, managing and delivering a public relations campaign. 

To be an Ally is to align yourself with another and unite to promote a common interest or issue. 

PRE 466 student Dominique Lewis said: “The Ally-in-progress campaign is about growth, everyone isn’t always an ally, because people are not perfect. We want everyone to try and be the best person they can be even if they make mistakes. It’s really about learning.” 

The umbrella campaign ‘Committing to Conservation’ is broken up into three sections: Watch your language, Ally-in-progress and Subtle Slights with Big Consequences. Wednesday nights People Supper highlighted how important it is to be an Ally-in-progress. 

Continually listening and learning is a key step in being an Ally-in-progress. The dinner’s point is to have a table of faculty, community members and students talk about adversities they each have endured. Each group listened and connected through their commonalities over a hot meal. Once conversations came to an end, everyone grabbed a slice of cake and reflected together on the different stories heard throughout the night. 

“A lot of love goes into our campaign,” PRE 466 student Ryan Senzon said. “We are doing this campaign so everyone feels comfortable and safe on this campus and in the community. We will not stop until everyone feels like they are in a brave space.”

The dinner was a semester’s worth of planning, catering, guest arrangements and discussion topics.

 “A lot goes into an event like this,” Lewis said. “Everything is under continuous reconstruction just to get it all right.” 

The reading is intended to help set the state of mind and desires for the dinner, So while individuals share their accounts groups listen. The Brave Space reading is meant to make a space that is supporting all those included. Everything said is kept confidential and silence is welcomed

 “The Supper gave the opportunity to step out of their own perspectives and see life through someone else’s eyes. Hearing and understanding other points of views is so important,” said Lewis, “We didn’t always directly relate, but we experienced similar emotions for varying situations.” 

  Senzon also felt moving emotion at the dinner. 

“I was inspired by making differences in people’s lives. I want to get to know people for who they are.”   

While sharing experiences, laughs and lessons, designated hosts guided the conversation as attendees went through the set list of questions at each table pertaining to inclusiveness and feeling like one belongs.

Sophomore Salimatou Jallow said, “It was a really touching experience. I was a designated host for my table, It was really cool to be able to facilitate a conversation that brought people from different walks of life together at once. The racists incidents that have been occurring have been separating us as a whole, and with the help of dinners such as this one we can start mending the broken pieces of our campus together.”

PRE 466 Public Relations Campaigns is an advanced, academic course focused on crafting, managing and delivering a public relations campaign, while providing outreach toward students and community members and finding new research to support the campaign. 

Lewis has expectations for the upcoming class of PRE 466 students. 

“I hope students in future classes hit the ground running and don’t stop until they reach their goals. It’s a lot of work, but it is so rewarding,” said Lewis. 

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