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41 picked for Riley Institute

Forty-one leaders from across the Upstate will have new tools and perspectives to leverage diversity to improve organizational outcomes and drive social and economic progress in South Carolina, gained through their participation in the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI).


These leaders, who are members of DLI’s 32nd Upstate class, were selected through a rigorous application and interview process after being nominated by DLI alumni. They are uniquely positioned to create impact within their organizations and communities. Each class is crafted to reflect the diverse demographics in South Carolina.


“In a time of significant social strife, leaders must come together to identify ways to unite communities to improve outcomes for all,” said Dr. Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute. “The DLI experience will help them as they lead South Carolina toward a better tomorrow.”


DLI classes are facilitated by expert Juan Johnson, an independent consultant who was The Coca-Cola Company’s first-ever vice president for diversity strategy.

Over five months, the class will engage in intensive discussions and scenario analyses that allow them to openly examine sensitive issues related to diversity and inclusion with fellow leaders, explore “blind spots,” and gain tools to develop strategies within their own organizations.


Class members also work together to develop capstone projects, partnering with nonprofit organizations to respond to real challenges and opportunities in their communities.

Graduates of DLI become Riley Fellows, members of a powerful cross-sector network of South Carolinians that includes corporate CEOs, legislators, superintendents, religious and nonprofit heads, and business and community leaders.


“With more than 2,500 Riley Fellows statewide, the impact these tight-knit leaders have is amplified with the addition of every new class,” Gordon said. “It’s a special thing to witness them coming together to make South Carolina a better place to live and work for all its residents.”


Listed below are the participants of the fall 2022 Upstate DLI class. The full roster of program graduates can be found online at furman.edu/riley.



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