The Riley Institute partners with Charleston Regional Business Journal to honor those who make diversity, equity and inclusion a strategic priority in policy and practice in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. Winners of the awards, both individuals and organizations, are role models, receiving awards in the following categories:

  • Rising Star: Recognizes a young professional under 40 who has displayed courageous leadership, initiative, and innovation to bring about change within his/her/their organization or community to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Individual: Recognizes an individual who displays visionary leadership that has significantly advanced the policies and practices of an organization or community to include and celebrate underrepresented people.
  • Ally for the Future Workforce: Recognizes an individual or organization that significantly contributes to fostering the next generation of the workforce through initiatives such as innovative apprenticeship programs, mentorship, pipeline development, and overall workforce readiness with specific emphasis and outreach to underrepresented communities.
  • Noteworthy Network: Recognizes a collaboration among entities in two or more sectors (e.g. business, nonprofit, education, faith, government, etc.) that share a common mission or project to create inclusive environments, policies, or programs that promote and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the community.
  • Big Heart: Recognizes a nonprofit organization that is serving marginalized communities in ways that help to level the playing field and enable underrepresented people to successfully enter the workplace.
  • Keystone Award: Recognizes an organization, or local office of a national organization, with less than 100 employees that is able to foster an environment that supports and welcomes all individuals and leads by demonstration through locally implemented best practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Medium/Large Business: Recognizes an organization with 100+ employees that champions and demonstrates the value of prioritizing and cultivating a diverse culture within their workforce, suppliers, and in the community they serve.
  • Distinguished Municipality: A city, town, county or governing body that has set itself apart with its focus on cultivating and supporting a diverse population both internally in its leadership such as boards, commissions, or administration and externally by creating opportunities for its residents to learn and grow together.
  • Lifetime Achievement: Spotlights an individual who has demonstrated an unwavering and sustained commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion over the span of his/her/their career and woven this dedication to others throughout his/her/their life.