University of Miami’s full-service student-run communication consultancy, Orange Umbrella, is kickstarting a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative, Beyond the Umbrella. Orange Umbrella will be hosting Ronald Roberts, Managing Partner at global marketing communications firm Finn Partners, for a discussion about DE&I in agency life on Tuesday, March 23 at 5 p.m.

“Diversity is a driving force of creativity, growth and excellence. Now more than ever, it is important for all of us to pursue initiatives like diversity, equity, and inclusion so that we can be better professionals, better individuals and better collaborators,” said Melissa Jane Barnes, managing director of Orange Umbrella.

In addition to being a member of DVL’s Seigenthaler crisis communications team, Roberts was the assistant director of public relations at Middle Tennessee State University and has served on several boards including 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee. Currently, he presents groundbreaking media trainings on branding and specializes in message development, media relations and strategic planning.

Roberts will lead a conversation for Beyond the Umbrella about how to create purposeful change against systemic racism. Coming from a place of empathy and a desire to improve society, he will explain his step-by-step process for improving DE&I and project what the next 10 years should look like.

“Hosting Ronald Roberts, an incredibly successful and insightful thought leader, is such an exciting way for us to kick off our Beyond the Umbrella initiative. We look forward to having students from all across the University join us in this important discussion,” said Barnes.

All UM students are invited to attend the event via Zoom and should register as a guest by 12 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23 at Attendees are encouraged to submit questions to Roberts upon registration which he will address during the discussion.