GVPRSSA 1/22/21 Tour: Javon Dobbs

Starting 2021 Off Right

The virtual tours started off on a high note this semester, with our first virtual interview of 2021 with Javon Dobbs. Even on his paternal leave, Javon was gracious enough to take time away from his family to speak with Grand Valley State University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (GVPRSSA) about his education and career journey, racial equity, and the transition into the workforce after graduation. 

Education Background

Javon currently serves as the communications manager for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, in which his work is focused on aiding children and working towards racial equity. A graduate from Western Michigan University (WMU), Javon got his Bachelor of Arts in journalism and Spanish and later returned to obtain his Masters in Public Administration. Javon worked his way through internships, including one with Wood TV8 in the sports department, and another with the foundation, in which he would later land a full-time job. 

Pre and Post Graduation Anxiety  

Javon first walked me through his education journey and subsequent internships. It seems no matter the year in which you’re attending college, pandemic or not, we all go through the same stressors: Will I find a job? Where can I intern? Is this really what I want to do? Walking through similar situations and emotions with successful graduates like Javon always gives me a sense of security and reassurance. Everyone finds their way in the end; we finish school, earn that diploma, and find our place in the world. It won’t be easy, and we most likely won’t nab that perfect job right off the bat, but we get there. 

Discussing Racial Equity 

During our interview, we were able to talk about some extraordinary work that Javon and the entire W.K. Kellogg Foundation does for children in the region, and racial equity in the state and nationwide. With diversity, equity, and inclusion at the core of the foundation’s drive and purpose, they are making strides for nonprofits, organizations, and companies everywhere. After the death of Geroge Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the spring and summer months of 2020, corporate social responsibility (CSR) became extremely important, alongside the implementation of DEI initiatives for companies and organizations. The foundation is based on these values and has based its work on them since the beginning. Thus, they have been able to lead open and important conversations surrounding diversity and racial equity. Javon has a great understanding of the prevalent issues circling in our society and provides perspectives otherwise irretrievable. 

Sign Up For More Tours

If you missed the tour with Javon, don’t worry — he’ll be back for PRep school in a few weeks to talk about a few different topics. Until then, be sure to sign up for future virtual tours and interviews. In February we will be hearing from the Detroit-based public relations firm, Franco. Additionally, the sign-up link will also appear in the GVPRSSA newsletter in the coming weeks. 

About the Author

Kady Volmering is a senior at Grand Valley State University, finishing up her last semester. In May, she’ll be graduating with a BA in Advertising and Public Relations, accompanied by a writing minor. She is currently the VP of Professional Development on the GVPRSSA e-board, and is also an account associate with GrandPR.