About the program

Public media leaders across the country are grappling with the systems changes necessary to diversify workplaces, boards, content and audience—changes that go to the heart of public media’s mission. Today’s heightened awareness of racial and other inequities in American institutions has magnified and accelerated organizational and stakeholder expectations that public media leaders establish diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as core values in their organizations and build them into their behaviors, systems and culture.

At this critical moment, South Carolina ETV is partnering with the Riley Institute at Furman University and the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) to offer the Public Media Diversity Leaders Initiative (PMDLI). We anticipate PMDLI will become an important element of the emerging professional development pathway that supports public media leadership in this work.

PMDLI is a highly interactive virtual program, modeled after the Riley Institute’s lauded South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative, designed with the unique needs of public media in mind. The curriculum incorporates collaborative exercises, scenario analyses and audio/visual tools that introduce strategic DEI frameworks to guide development of actionable plans. Participants will explore selected best DEI practices already in place within public media and content tailored to examine challenges, themes and topics identified by the participants.

Participants will be selected from applicants across the country to reflect the public media ecosystem—region served, audience, station licensee type, affiliate organizations—as well as a variety of diversity dimensions. They will convene virtually in five workshop days over five months. As graduates of the first classes help identify future class participants, PMDLI can quickly scale throughout the national public media ecosystem.

Application and cost

The cost of PMDLI is $2,000 per participant. Apply for a future cohort.

For information: Adrienne Fairwell, president and CEO, South Carolina ETV, afairwell@scetv.org, or Maria Rodillo, executive assistant and board liaison, NETA, mrodillo@netaonline.org.

PMDLI fellow roster

View the complete list of PMDLI graduates.

Meet our inaugural class

Gallery of headshots of participants of PMDLI Class I

Meet our second class

Meet our third class

A grid of headshots of people who graduated from the spring 2022 cohort

Meet our fourth class

Meet our fifth class

Meet our sixth class

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Schedule and curriculum

Meet the PMDLI team

Juan Johnson

Facilitator, Diversity Leaders Initiative; Senior Fellow

Donald Gordon

Executive Director, Riley Institute; Professor, Politics and International Affairs

Megan Dodgens

Director, Diversity Leadership Strategies