Public Media Leaders meeting

Public Media Diversity Leaders Initiative

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 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 $1,500 per participant. Applications for the spring 2022 class are now open.

For information: Anthony Padgett, president and CEO, South Carolina ETV, apadgett@scetv.org, or Stephanie Frazier, assistant general manager, South Carolina ETV, sfrazier@scetv.org.

Meet our inaugural class

Gallery of headshots of participants of PMDLI Class I

Schedule and curriculum

Overall schedule

Fall 2021 cohort dates: 11 am – 5 pm EDT on September 9, September 30, October 14, and November 11; 11 am – 2 pm EDT on December 9

Spring 2022 cohort dates: 11 am – 5 pm EDT on February 3, March 10, April 7, and May 5; 11 am – 2 pm EDT on June 8

Class times are structured to allow for participants from across the nation. Participants should plan to attend all classes.

Day 1
  • Builds historical context for diversity, equity and inclusion in America, linking it to the current context of a heightened focus on DEI across all sectors of society.
  • Explores the impact of the changing external culture on expectations of organizations, institutions and leaders.
  • Identifies and explores specific external cultural changes that create unique challenges and expectations for the public broadcasting sector.
Day 2
  • Identifies key competencies and skills required to lead organizations in the new environment.
  • Connects diversity, equity and inclusion to the organization’s mission and values.
  • Introduces a game-changing approach to engaging employees in diversity, equity and inclusion objectives.
Day 3
  • Introduces models for managing complex and sensitive diversity, equity and inclusion challenges.
  • Introduces tools and frameworks for individual reflection and improved group performance.
  • Demonstrates the application and leverage of mission-driven decision making.
Day 4
  • Explores a broad array of diversity dimensions beyond race and gender (e.g., age, physical and mental abilities, physical appearance, religion, sexual orientation, etc.), with a focus on how they can impact individual engagement and group performance.
  • Demonstrates the unintended consequences of social media echo chambers and decisions, and examines the problems associated with the growing trend towards binary thinking.
  • Reviews best practices and success stories from a variety of industries.
Day 5 (half-day closing workshop)
  • Undertakes a detailed review of DEI strategies and tactics to attract, acquire, develop and retain a broadly diverse workforce.
  • Examines best practice examples from various industries and sectors for potential applications in public media.
  • Conveys a process for identifying the practices that offer the greatest potential for participant’s organizations.

Meet the PMDLI team