Crystal Borde, a vice president and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Practice Lead at Vanguard Communications, has been named a PR News’ Top Woman in PR in the Changemaker category for leading new DEI opportunities and initiatives in the public relations field.
Every year PR News, a premier weekly communications publication, recognizes a group of women trailblazers who have had a tremendous impact on communications through their leadership and innovation. Borde will be recognized, along with the other honorees, at the Top Women in PR Virtual Awards Gala on July 28.
“Although DEI principles have been ingrained in how Vanguard approaches our work since our founding, Crystal’s role as DEI lead has been transformative,” said Vanguard President and CEO Maria Rodriguez. “She has advanced our commitment and expertise in immeasurable ways by keeping DEI top of mind when coordinating staff trainings and small group conversations; relaying important news stories where DEI plays a large role; and sharing resources on how each of us can be more diverse, equitable and inclusive in our thinking.”
Long before the term DEI hit the mainstream in 2020, Borde had been advancing conversations on this topic internally at Vanguard. She also had put it in front of Vanguard’s clients in the nonprofit and government spaces to intersect with their own communications and strategies.
“As a Black daughter of immigrants, I’ve spent my life observing and enduring bias and discrimination — from personal experiences growing up in Los Angeles to professional ones in Washington, D.C.,” Borde said. “As a PR professional, I’ve used these personal experiences and DEI communications best practices as the foundation to educate and create more diverse, equitable and inclusive communities in workplaces and neighborhoods.”
Borde’s expertise with integrating DEI principles into public education campaign planning and implementation became particularly relevant last year as the nation focused on the rising racial justice movement. She was able to provide immediate counsel and support for Vanguard clients, which has resulted in expanded client work for the firm in this area, as well as advanced its thought leadership on the topic by speaking at industry events and publishing extensively on DEI-related matters.
Vanguard Communications is a Hispanic woman-owned public relations and social marketing firm whose work is powered by and for people — the individuals, families and communities whose voices are the fuel for change. Since 1987, Vanguard has been working in the areas of health; wellness; energy; environment; education; international development; and diversity, equity and inclusion in order to foster healthy communities and a thriving planet.