Ofield Dukes
Ofield Dukes (Courtesy of prdaily.com)

The Black Public Relations Society — Washington, D.C. (BPRS) will host the inaugural Ofield Dukes Excellence in Public Relations Awards on Saturday at the J.W. Marriott Hotel.

Dukes, who died at age 79 in 2011, was widely recognized for his dedication and avid support surrounding the advancement of equality in the public relations and communications arena.

The event, which celebrates the Detroit native’s life and legacy of Dukes, will be hosted by veteran journalist Maureen Bunyan.

“We are honored to have Ofield’s work and legacy remembered by BPRS,” Dukes’ daughter and son-in-law said in a statement. “He was a giant in the field of public relations but was always humble in his approach to people. Ofield told his students (and his daughter) that one must master the three C’s of success. Competence. Confidence. Competitiveness. It is our pleasure to lend his name to an award that honors those in the field [who] represent these pillars of success.”

The evening will include an exclusive look at Dukes’ autobiography, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, networking, a detailed program, as well as an elegant program book, special gifts for VIPs, and fellowship with metro D.C. area elites.

During the program, BPRS — the D.C. chapter of the National Black Public Relations Society — will announce the Ofield Dukes Scholarship award winners and honor the achievements of D.C.-area practitioners, thought leaders and academics in the public relations and communications field.

The award categories will include:

• The Ofield Dukes Legacy in PR Award (two awards — male and female senior, C-suite professional – 25 years+)
• The Millennial Excellence in PR Award (two awards — male and female young professional – less than 10 years)
• The Ofield Dukes Scholarship Award (two awards — Howard University undergraduate students)

Dukes’ myriad accomplishments include his influence using the public relations platform to galvanize support for the civil rights movement as well as the spearheading of a campaign to commemorate a day for civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

“Celebrating the life and legacy of such an elite trailblazer is not only humbling but an honor,” said Antonice Jackson, event chair and president of the D.C. chapter. “We are excited as a chapter to organize an event to honor his work — which is long overdue — and to encourage all communicators of color to continue to persevere and be fearless in their profession.”

Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite or at www.bprsdc.org/OfieldDukesAwards. Official partners and sponsorship requests are available for businesses interested in supporting the event. Contact A. Walton at 301-653-8687 or via email president@bprsdc.org.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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