Excel by Eight announced today that it has expanded its team with the addition of Adena J. White as communications director. White will provide communications support to help achieve policy goals related to supporting families, early childhood education and healthy beginnings, as well as the plans of Excel by Eight communities in Little Rock, plus Conway, Independence, Jefferson, Sevier and Union counties.
“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 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.
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 is a former executive board member for PRSA’s Association/Nonprofit Section and is co-chair of the National Communications Committee. She is also a member of the Independent Practitioners Alliance.
White holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and journalism with an emphasis in public relations from Arkansas Tech University. In 2021 she was inducted into ATU’s Hall of Distinction as a Distinguished Young Alumna. She completed a master’s degree in applied communication studies from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and received the department’s “Alumni Making a Difference Award” in 2022.
About Excel by Eight
Excel by Eight is a collaborative effort of more than 30 partner organizations focused on increasing Arkansas children’s health and education outcomes. It is committed to strengthening resource grids statewide by building local models for change; identifying and resolving policy barriers; and enhancing public understanding of early childhood development.