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Richard W. Riley and the Riley Institute's Executive Director Don Gordon have co-authored an op-ed, "We must act now to dismantle structural racism," in the The Post and Courier. Its publication marks five years since the Mother Emanuel AME slayings in Charleston and follows recent protests calling for an end to racial violence. Read More

Read about the Riley Institute's 20th Anniversary Celebration!

September 1, 8 and 15: StraightTalk

October 6Tenth Annual Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award

November 17Sixteenth Annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards, Gunter Theatre, Peace Center. Please register here. 



Catch up on DLI alums’ professional achievements and honors, and get community action project updates! Click on the image.



February 26: Angela Maria Kelley, Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow

February 7: Law & Society  

January 14: Wilkins Leadership Awards Dinner

November 12Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award

October 6-11White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship 2019-20

October 3Riley Institute's 20th Anniversary Celebration

Check our calendar for all events at the Riley Institute including the Diversity Leaders Initiative and the Center for Education Policy and Leadership





StraightTalk: Voting in America

Tuesdays, September 1, 8, 15, 2020 via Zoom
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.


Register here today!

The history of voting in America makes plain that voting rules have always been entangled with broader issues of wealth, class and race, and political parties. Despite constitutional amendments expanding the right to vote, controversies over voting rights, voter fraud, and the value of an individual’s vote abound. Moreover, this year’s presidential election is happening not only during a pandemic, but also during a time of declining trust in our democratic institutions. If the election is close, or if it takes weeks or even months to determine the outcome, how much impact will the ongoing incendiary rhetoric about stolen elections, fraud, and Russian interference have on Americans who don’t trust the process?

Join us all three Tuesday evenings as we examine the history of voting in America and the struggle for enfranchisement among the poor, women, Black Americans, and Native Americans (Sept. 1), the ongoing struggle against Gerrymandering, voter and election fraud, and voter suppression (Sept. 8), and how we can safeguard the integrity of our election infrastructure and process (Sept. 15). Ultimately, as we face these challenges, we ask ourselves, “Will our 244-year-old experiment in democracy succeed?”

Click here to view more information about these events

How Foothills Family Resources is Adapting to Meet Community Need in the Era of COVID-19

The Riley Institute’s Planning and Evaluation Capacity Building Initiative (PECBI) empowers nonprofit organizations to foster a culture of organizational learning around data and evaluation. As community needs grow due to the pandemic, we’re asking our PECBI partners what they’ve learned as they’ve adapted their services in this challenging time. In the first installment of our new Q&A series, Impact in the Era of COVID-19, we speak with Foothills Family Resources Executive Director Marilyn Neves.

Foothills Family Resources are the sole provider of resources in northern Greenville County to an underserved population beset by generational poverty, lack of transportation, high unemployment rates, low graduation rates, and poor healthcare — issues all magnified by the pandemic. Our clients receive professional services in our facility from a diverse group of agencies including Greenville Mental Health, Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources, the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department, the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Department of Social Services, and Greenville County Schools. Read More

COVID-19 Conversations: Entrepreneur Basil Bacall on the Pandemic’s Impact on the Hospitality Industry 

The word “pivot” gets tossed around a lot these days. Every business sector has had to quickly adapt its operational model to meet both safety and financial concerns, but the hospitality industry has had to ponder one of the biggest questions of them all: How do you stay afloat when your business is dependent on getting people in the door?

Basil Bacall, President and CEO of Elite Hospitality Group, is no stranger to the pivot. In his early days as an entrepreneur, Bacall repositioned a financially distressed asset into an award-winning, profitable hotel. Now he owns nearly two dozen hotels and real estate properties in metropolitan Detroit. Read More

Watch other episodes of COVID-19 Conversations here

Frontline Fellows: Q&A with SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett

Committed to progress in South Carolina, fellows of The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) seek to develop real solutions for real social issues. As the COVID-19 outbreak has drastically changed the way we live, these state leaders are quickly adapting the ways they support the communities they serve. We’re shining the spotlight on their exemplary leadership during this unprecedented time in our new Frontline Fellows series.

In this interview, we speak with SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett. In the early days of the pandemic, the Riley Fellow (Midlands, Spring 2019) and his staff at the public broadcasting network worked quickly to air curriculum-based programs that supplement at-home learning. Since that time, COVID-19 has continued to crystallize the need to make content accessible for students who lack internet access, and SCETV is leading the charge with the pilot of its datacasting technology. Read More

See all Frontline Fellows interviews