Excel by Eight, a coalition of 30 partner organizations focused on increasing Arkansas children’s health and education outcomes, has hired Adena White as communications director.
White has more than 15 years of experience in the communications and nonprofit sectors. She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and a social-impact storyteller. In 2017, she founded Blackbelt Media, the producer of Blackbelt Voices podcast which tells stories that honor Black history, celebrate Black Southern culture and shape the future of the region. Since its launch in September 2019, the podcast has been featured by Apple Podcasts, Oprah Daily and Vanity Fair.
“Strong, strategic communications is vital to our efforts to drive awareness to issues facing Arkansas’s children and families,” said Angela Duran, executive director of Excel by Eight. “With Adena on our team, we can streamline our messaging and focus on sharing the stories of children, families, educators, physicians and advocates who are working to build a dependable resource grid in our state.”
White spent more than a decade at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce as the director of communications and editor of its publications. She also provides communications support to the Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative. She served on the board of directors for the Arkansas Chapter of PRSA for nine years, and in 2019 was elected president of the 100-member chapter, making history as the first Black person to hold this office.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and journalism with an emphasis in public relations from Arkansas Tech University. She completed a master’s degree in applied communication studies from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.