Adena White

Communications Director, Excel by Eight

Adena J. White is an accredited public relations professional and social-impact storyteller with 15 years of experience leading communications efforts for nonprofit organizations. She founded Blackbelt Media in 2017 to tell the stories of changemakers working to make the South a better place for all. Adena previously served as the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce’s director of communications and editor of its publications. She began her career at the University of Arkansas System’s Winthrop Rockefeller Institute as public relations coordinator. Adena obtained a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and journalism with an emphasis in public relations from Arkansas Tech University and a master’s degree in applied communication studies from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She resides in Conway with her husband and son.

My favorite children’s book is: “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff.

My favorite song when I was a child was: the “In the Heat of the Night” theme song.

When I was a child, an adult who made a difference in my life was: Mrs. Dollie Pickens. As the only Black educator at my rural K-12 school at the time, and as the school librarian, she made sure students had access to books written by Black authors. I read a lot of Mildred D. Taylor’s young adult novels!

As a child, my favorite activity was: reading and playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with my sister and cousins. (I was Donatello.)