NORMAL —Tiara M. Tucker, originally from Kankakee, will receive the Illinois State University Andrew Purnell Jr. Trailblazer Award on Thursday during the university’s annual Founding Celebration.
Tucker, a 2000 Kankakee High School graduate, was homecoming queen and vice president of her class.
This award recognizes the ISU alumni trailblazers, groundbreakers, innovators and pioneers who have devoted their time and effort in servant leadership to make a positive change. The recipient of this award serves and significantly improves or enriches the lives of others.
After Tucker received her bachelor’s and master’s from the School of Communication at ISU, she began a career at State Farm Insurance Companies with more than a decade in public affairs and nearly 20 years with the organization. Beyond her corporate role, Tucker is an entrepreneur and self-described “empowerment connector” who is also a speaker, social justice activist, mental health advocate and philanthropist.
Tucker has worked behind the scenes in the fight against inequalities and police brutality, partnering with some of the nation’s most prominent civil rights attorneys and coordinating media strategies for high-profile cases. She started the charitable organization Speak That! Movement, which is an impact-driven initiative to equip and empower professional women while also focusing on mental health issues and social justice roadblocks.
She is also the founder and CEO of Tiara PR Network LLC, a communications boutique providing executive-level communications support and public relations strategies for established professionals, organizations and high-profile projects desiring to make a positive impact in the community. Her work has resulted in many accolades, including being selected as a 40 Under 40 Honoree by the Dallas chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, where she currently serves as the vice president of diversity & inclusion.
Tucker received the Dallas Skyline Community Recognition Award and was named one of 10 Amazing Black Women Making Moves by Black Enterprise.
The ISU Alumni Association is a volunteer, non-profit organization that serves more than 240,000 alumni, the university and its students. Each year the association recognizes individuals who personify the university’s traditions as an environment for excellence.