Angelica has spent the last decade in the culinary PR industry and currently oversees the Food & Beverage Department at The Dana Agency. In addition to her love of food, she has always been an advocate for diversity and underrepresented groups. Impassioned by recent world events, her unwavering quest toward equal human rights led her to launching the agency’s first-ever Diversity Program earlier this year. Now, as the Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Culture at the agency, Angelica aims to help educate employees on the topics of cross-cultural awareness, implicit bias and microaggressions, as well as amplifying BIPOC and LGBTQ+ voices in the industry by creating a quarterly pro bono campaign to offer complimentary PR services for businesses owned by these marginalized communities.
We recently connected with Angelica to learn more about her work in the field and to share some of her advice for students.
Tell us a little about your work.
“I’ve been a culinary publicist in Miami for about 10 years and have worked with incredible chefs and restaurateurs. Earlier this year, after the devastating death of George Floyd and the uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement, I launched The Dana Agency’s first-ever Diversity program with the mission to positively impact marginalized communities such as BIPOC and LGBTQ+ both internally at our agency and externally through the industries we do business with, as well as within our community. I established a Diversity committee that is responsible for upholding this mission by executing actionable goals and providing educational resources to the entire agency. We developed a pro bono campaign to offer BIPOC and LGBTQ+ owned businesses complimentary services every quarter. I also lead monthly group discussions for the agency where we discuss various topics including the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQ History, Allyship, Voting and more.”
How did your experiences as an Emerson student help prepare you for work in diversity and inclusion?
“Emerson played a significant role in the journey to my work in diversity and inclusion by providing an incredibly inclusive and open environment at the school. It was incorporated into all aspects of life at Emerson – the dorms, classes, extracurricular activities – so I graduated equipped with the knowledge and experiences that are necessary in this work. The college has always been a pioneer in creating inclusive spaces and educating students about the power of communication, and I still look to them as a leader in these conversations and an example for my work.”
What advice would you give students who are concerned about finding the most inclusive employers?
“If there is anything I’ve learned, it’s to listen to your gut. While it might be more challenging these days to evaluate a workspace and the environment, be specific in the questions you ask your potential employer. What are your non-negotiables?”
Heading into 2021, while we don’t have a crystal ball, where do you see the future of this work?
“While this work is not new and has always been essential, I see it in the driver’s seat in the near future. 2020 has proven that companies and people can no longer hide behind performative allyship and need to take purposeful action. The work in diversity, equity and inclusion holds everyone accountable and is the driving force behind change.”