About rechilds

~ Biographical Profile ~

Ronald E. Childs

“You were the Doug Williams of the journalism dept.”

                          — Former Grambling State University professor of journalism, Murray P. Fortner, 2006

Ronald E. Childs is an award-winning writer, editor, public relations practitioner and photographer whose work frequently appears in Black-interest publications throughout the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil and Great Britain.  He is also Vice President, Media Relations for Flowers Communications Group, LLC, the premiere African American-owned public relations and integrated marketing-communications firm in the Midwest.

A well-known advocate and outspoken commentator on Black men’s issues, his articles and essays to date have been published in such respected periodicals as Black Issues In Higher Education, Black Enterprise, The Black Collegian, AOL/BlackVoices.com, EM-EBONY MAN, Jet, UPSCALE, Dollars & Sense, Minorities and Women In Business and N’Digo, as well as other Black interest magazines, newspapers and web sites worldwide.  His monthly column, “The Observer,” distributed through his own OMEN Syndication, appears in The Chicago Defender, The Michigan Chronicle, The Michigan FrontPage, The Louisiana Weekly, The Chicago Crusader, The Citizen Newspaper Group, The Chicago Independent Bulletin, The Standard Newspaper Group, The Cape Verdean News (Boston, MA), Urban Spectrum magazine (Denver, CO) and NOIR News and IONA magazines online.

Childs is founder and principal of OMEN Communications, the banner under which he consults and performs his written and creative work, and is CEO of Élan Model/Talent Management and Casting, Chicago’s only multicultural talent agency committed to defying the limitations of Eurocentric beauty standards.  Childs founded and established Élan in 1994.  A 1982 graduate of the school of journalism at Grambling State University of Louisiana, Childs previously was a media strategist and senior account executive with Burrell Communications Group, Inc., the nation’s preeminent African American-owned marketing-communications and advertising firm.

While there, he serviced blue-chip corporate accounts including Bell Atlantic, Verizon, Coca-Cola USA/Sprite, ExxonMobil, adidas, HBO, McDonald’s, Sears, Kellogg’s, Western Union, the Illinois Lottery, Bacardi/B&B, Quaker Oats and Inner City Entertainment, while also pivotally responsible for the agency’s internal, corporate PR.  Notably, he developed the original program concept that today is called McDonald’s “365 Black” initiative, and co-developed Habitat for Humanity International’s first-ever diversity program, “Building Upon Diverse Foundations.”

Prior to his tenure at Burrell, Childs was a communications specialist, speechwriter and assistant press secretary, respectively, to Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold Washington, until the prominent chief executive’s untimely death in 1987.  More recently, he was associate editor of Johnson Publishing Company’s EM [EBONY MAN] magazine, at that time the only internationally-circulated lifestyle publication dedicated to the needs, interests and aspirations of African American men.

Before affiliating with EM, Childs was assistant director of publicity for Johnson Publishing.  In that capacity, he assisted with the national promotion of EBONY, Jet and EM magazines, as well as the company’s Fashion Fair Cosmetics and Supreme Beauty Products divisions, the “EBONY/Jet Showcase” and “American Black Achievement Awards” television productions, the JPC Book Division and its then-three radio stations, WLNR, WJPC and WLOU.  Childs is a member of the National and Chicago Associations of Black Journalists, the National and Chicago Black Public Relations Societies, the Publicity Club of Chicago, the national alumni association of Grambling State University.

A staunch believer in the spirit of giving back, he serves as a mentor for journalism and public relations students at historically black colleges through the Access mentorship program, which he developed and directs.  Childs is a volunteer for the Black College Communications Association, the Honda Campus All Star Challenge (a 21 year-old national HBCU academic competition) and Literacy Chicago.  He sits on the board of the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center, and is executive vice president of the Black Public Relations Society of Chicago.

Childs is a recipient of the 1991 Award for Outstanding Commentary given by the Chicago Association of Black Journalists, and in 1990 was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Presidential Citation bestowed annually by the National Association for Equal Opportunity In Higher Education.  Chicago-based Dollars & Sense magazine named him one of America’s “Best and Brightest Black Business and Professional Men” for 1995, and he received Being Single magazine’s Pinnacle Award in 1997, also feting unheralded Black men of accomplishment.

For 2008, Childs holds a Bulldog Reporter Silver Award for media relations excellence, and one PRNews Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award.  His worked earned Flowers Communications Group the 2007 Platinum PR Award, the highest honor given for public relations practitioners in the Midwest, bestowed annually by the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC).  In 2006, Childs was awarded two Golden Trumpet Awards, and one Silver Trumpet, also from the PCC.  He was awarded one Golden and three Silver Awards in 2004, plus three Communicator Awards, two Silver Quill Awards from the International Association of Business Communicators and one League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) Magellan Award for media relations excellence the same year.

He was named one of the city’s “Top 50 Most Eligible Bachelors” by Today’s Chicago Woman magazine in 2000, and one of “Chicago’s 50 Most Savvy Singles” by the same magazine, for 2006.  Childs was inducted into the Grambling State University Alumni Hall of Fame in October, 2007, representing its school of journalism.  He is one of The Chicago Defender newspaper’s “Men of Distinction” for 2010.

Born on September 15th, 1959 in Louisiana, Missouri, and reared in Bowling Green, Missouri; Denver, Colorado and in Wheaton, Illinois respectively, he is a Prince Hall Mason, a member of Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, Chicago’s oldest Black congregation, and the single father of one son, Kimani.

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