Forty-eight Midlands Leaders Join Diversity Leaders Initiative
Director of Marketing and Communications
The Riley Institute at Furman University
January 24, 2024 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FORTY-EIGHT MIDLANDS LEADERS JOIN DIVERSITY LEADERS INITIATIVE
An award-winning program with over 2,700 graduates across South Carolina, the Diversity Leaders Initiative leverages diversity to drive progress.
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Forty-eight leaders from across the Midlands have been selected to participate in the Riley Institute’s intensive 5-month Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) program. For over 20 years, DLI has brought together community stakeholders and equipped them with the skills and perspectives necessary to leverage diversity in their organizations in ways that drive social and economic progress in South Carolina.
Participants are selected following nomination by a DLI graduate and a thorough application and interview process. Each class includes leaders who represent the varied demographics in our state and who seek to institute diverse and inclusive practices within their communities and organizations.
Juan Johnson, the designer and facilitator of the program, has crafted a curriculum that includes interactive case studies, scenario analyses, and experiential learning tools. With five meetings over the course of five months, this program will explore modules related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Among the topics explored in these discussions are the differences between bias and discrimination, the role of context, differences in mental and physical abilities, generational diversity, and diversity frameworks.
The DLI program concludes with groups undertaking community action projects. With these capstone projects, this new class of DLI participants will identify challenges in their communities and will work together to address them. Many of our DLI graduates have developed projects that continue to produce tremendous good within their communities.
Dr. Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute, remarks, “Today’s leaders are responsible for making positive contributions that benefit everyone, particularly the most marginalized among us. This program creates opportunities to tackle challenges faced by diverse segments of our community and introduce enduring solutions and systems-level change within organizations and businesses across South Carolina.”
Graduates of DLI become Riley Fellows and join a diverse community of changemakers in South Carolina.
Listed below are the participants of the spring 2024 Midlands DLI class.
Senior Research Fellow
VP of Strategy & Communications
Commission of Minority Affairs
President & CEO
SC Restaurant & Lodging Association
Dean, Richard W. Riley College of Education,
Sport, and Human Sciences
Chief of Police
City of Cayce
Director of Utilities
Richland County Government
Trustee, Executive Committee
South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics
Large Bank Advanced Examiner
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Senior Vice President
City of Florence
First Citizens Bank
SC Victim Assistance Network
Governor’s Commission for South Carolina
American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Clarendon County School District
Associate Professor of History
University of South Carolina Lancaster
Senior Director B2B Virtual Sales
Michelin North America
Chief Equity and Engagement Officer
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation
Senior Director Commercial Sales
Michelin North America
Bullets and Bandaids
Secretary of Commerce
State of South Carolina
Chief of Staff
Southeast Crescent Regional Commission
Associate General Counsel
Open Technology Fund
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
DEIJ Leadership Consultant
The Neo Project Consultancy
CEO and General Counsel
Genesis Heath Care, Inc.
President & CEO
South Carolina Chamber of Commerce
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA
Bank of Clarendon
Elliot Davis, LLC
South Carolina Liaison
Children’s Defense Fund
Councilman, County Council District 2
SC ETV and Public Radio
City of Bennettsville
First Palmetto Bank
Marlboro County School District
Calhoun County Public Schools
Security Federal Bank
South Carolina Humanities
Public Health Director – Midlands
About the Riley Institute at Furman University
Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute advances social and economic progress in South Carolina and beyond by building leadership for a diverse society, broadening student and community perspectives on critical issues, hosting expert speakers, supporting public education, and creating knowledge through community solutions-focused research. It is committed to nonpartisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change.