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April 2020

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. See all Frontline Fellows interviews
 

March 2020

Spring 2020 Upstate and Midlands DLI classes have been postponed due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop one Midlands group from rallying together virtually to expand a social campaign that promotes affirmation, empathy, inclusion, and kindness. Born out of an existing Marlboro County School District initiative, their statewide project, #345, captures the positive affirmations everyone deserves to hear each day: “I love you” (3 words), “I care about you” (4 words), and “I am here for you” (5 words). Even if you’re in a hurry, you can simply say #345.

If you’d like to read more about this project, read their press release here. To visit their project website and purchase a T-shirt in support of their efforts, click here.
 

December 2019

The Riley Institute at Furman has announced that 41 leaders from the Upstate Class XXVIII have completed the Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI). Read more about this Upstate class.

The Riley Institute at Furman has announced that 41 leaders from the Lowcountry Class XIV have completed the Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative class (DLI). Read more about this Lowcountry class.
 

July 2019

A group of Riley Fellows, Swamp Rabbit Express - Strengthening Communities, Nourishing Lives that participated in the Upstate Class XXVI, Fall 2018, unveil a new food truck for its first service of meals to Greenville County students on July 31, 2019 at Travelers Rest United Methodist Church. Furman News
 

August 2018

Pay-it-forward brunch at Soby’s designed to unite diverse Greenville community. The group from the Upstate Class XXV created A S.E.A.T. at the Table – Sit Eat and Talk at our welcoming pop-up, pay-it-forward restaurant to nourish, educate, and unite the diverse Greenville community, regardless of background or means. Our August 19, A S.E.A.T. at the Table event, welcomed up to 400 patrons to exchange introductions and build relationships with others while enjoying a special Saturday brunch at Soby’s with the goal of meeting others in unity. Greenville Journal


January 2018

The Charleston Undertold History Map team, Lowcountry Class XI, now called the Charleston Justice Project, is aiming to create African-American history walking and driving tours that highlight many of the lesser-known facts about civil rights in the area. Read more about the group's work in this article, Interactive map in works to tell broader story of African-American history in Charleston. The Post and CourierThe Post and Courier


September 2017

We are excited to announce that forty-three leaders have been selected to participate in the Upstate Class XXIV; forty-two leaders have been selected to participate in the Lowcountry Class XII. To view Furman's press release that includes a listing of all participants, click here for the Upstate and click here for the Lowcountry. 

The group, Teen Achievers Champions, Upstate Class XXIII, developed a project that will enhance and grow the already successful Teen Achievers Program by creating a sustainable annual “Greenville YMCA Teen Achievers Kick-Off Event” that both delivers a sustainable source of funding for the program (enabling its continuity) and gets the incoming participants excited about the opportunity in front of them (inspiring them to spread the word to their friends and grow the number of participants). This project was featured on Your Carolina to promote the event, “Greenville YMCA Teen Achievers Kick-Off Event,” that this group organized and held on September 28, 2017. Click here to see photos from the inaugural event. 

Riley Institute and Duke Energy Renew Partnership to Advance Diversity Leadership. ConnectionsSC 2017 participants began orientation Aug. 22 in Columbia. They will attend five day-long sessions through December of this year. To view the  participants, read more.
 

July 2017

The group, Empathy without Apprehension, Upstate Class XXIII, Spring 2017, brought their project to fruition in July 2017 when the Greenville County deputies played Juvenile Justice Jeopardy with kids at a youth camp. For the story, click here.


May 2017

Following the 2017 Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner, Darian Blue, winner of the Calder D. Ehrmann Outstanding Individual Award, penned a touching tribute to Calder and to his wife, Glenda. He notes that “when I made eye contact with Glenda, I felt a healing take place. Her eyes spoke to my soul.” To read Darian’s note in its entirety, click here
 

February 2017

A group project, Project Discovery, was developed during the Upstate Class XX, Fall 2015. To read about the progression of their project and how partnership shows students opportunities in Spartanburg read the article featured in GoUpstate.com.
 

January 2017 

Tenth Midlands' Class of Fellows selected. Furman University Press Release


December 2016

A connection between women who are incarcerated and their child/children. This project was the brainchild of A Mother's Voice2016 Spring Midland Class IX. Children are the ones that suffer when a parent is incarcerated and absent from their life. A Mother’s Voice provides incarcerated Mom’s with recordable books suitable for toddlers and small children. Moms record their own voice as they read the book and then give the book to their child/children to keep….and hear over and over “together.” The State
 

November 2016

Greenville deputies, businesses and local charities ask for coats. The group, C3 (Community, Coats and Cops), that participated in Upstate Class XX Fall 2015 are continuing their project as cold weather descends upon Greenville. WSPA.com
 

July 2016

Reading program keeps incarcerated mothers involved in their children's lives established by the 2016 Spring Midlands Class IX group, A Mother's VoiceWISTVWISTV (pdf format)

Poised to join more than 1,700 Riley Fellows from across the state, 43 leaders from the Upstate and surrounding areas have been selected to participate in the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI). To view the Furman Press Release in its entirity, click here
 

May 2016

Charleston International and other metro-area airports across South Carolina were recognized Tuesday at the annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner for efforts at diversity. The Post and Courier
 

March 2016

E. Richard Walton, Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) Riley Fellow, Upstate Class IX in Spring 2010, penned an article discussing the importance of the International African American Museum spearheaded by former Mayor of Charleston Joe Riley. Walton also mentions the Wilkins Awards Dinner, OneSouthCarolina and the DLI programs. Greenville News
 

September 2015

The Diversity Leaders Initiative has selected its 20th Class of Fellows from the Upstate and the 10th Class of Fellows from the Lowcountry; 45 incoming Upstate class members and 44 incoming Lowcountry class members will join more than 1,500 Riley Fellows from across the state to participate in DLI.

For a complete list of participants in the Upstate, click here; in the Lowcountry, click here.
 

August 2015

Truck full of play equipment for Midlands kids, seniors unveiled. We applaud DLI Riley Fellow David Lominack's efforts in the Midlands The State
 

July 2015

Riley Institute at Furman, Duke Energy to help advance diversity leadership in SC following Charleston shootings; Duke Energy Awards Riley Institute $100,000 Grant. To read the press release in its entirety, click here; for an article that appeared in the Greenville Journal, click here; for the Furman press release.
 

April 2015

The Rev. Darian Blue roots for the people that others give up on. He doesn’t give up on them because others didn’t give up on him. Greenville News
 

February 2015

Read about Calder Ehrmann Greenville NewsGreenville News

Two Richland County civic leaders have been tapped to represent the Midlands in a leadership fellowship hosted by Furman University. COLA Daily

HopeHealth Inc. Director Dr. Beryl Bachus-Keith is one of 38 leaders from throughout the midlands who will participate in the 8th Midlands Class of the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative. Manninglive

Lowcountry’s old-school and new-age workplaces struggle to improve diversity. Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute at Furman, which operates the Diversity Leadership Initiative, said it’s a complicated challenge, one each organization might pursue differently. The Post and Courier

Upstate selects its 19th Class of Fellows: To view the press release on the Upstate Spring 2015 Class XIX, click here.

Midlands selects its 8th Class of Fellows: To view the press release on the Midlands Spring 2015 Class VIII, click here.
 

August 2014

Upstate selects its 18th Class of Fellows

Poised to join more than 1300 Riley Fellows from across the state, 44 leaders from the Upstate have been selected to participate in the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI). 

To view the 2014 Fall Upstate Class XVIII and the press release in its entirety, click here.

Lowcountry selects its 9th Class of Fellows

The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative has selected its 9th Class of Lowcountry Fellows. Forty-one leaders from the Lowcountry, five from Columbia and one from Greenville have been selected to participate in the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI). They will join more than 1,300 Riley Fellows from across the state.

To view the 2014 Fall Lowcountry Class IX and the press release in its entirety, click here.

“In its tenth year, DLI and the Riley Fellows have matured into a potent force to help move the state forward,” said Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute. “The members of these classes, with their extremely varied professional and community interests, will be a strong addition to the body of Fellows.”
 

June 2014

Donated cars put SC foster youths on road to independence, a project creation of the Midlands Class VII, Spring 2014 group, Key Connectors. The State

District 7 Superintendent Russell Booker (Upstate Class VIII Fall 2009) receives honor from SC administrators. Read more

The publication, Unite South Carolina - Celebrating Ten Years of the Diversity Leaders Initiative, was unveiled on Monday, June 9, 2014 during a special ceremony at Michelin North America and in the presence of over 80 DLI graduates. The stories set forth in the publication represent examples of leaders taking actions to build better communities and organizations. The publication is available in both print and digital edition. This commemorative magazine was sponsored by DLI designer and facilitator Juan Johnson, and the stories were photographed and written by noted photographer Jean Shifrin of Atlanta. For more information, click here.  Greenville Online
 

February 2014

A Tale of Two South Carolinas discussed at the 2014 OneSouthCarolina conference written by Dan Cook.  Free-times
 

August 2013

New Coalition Aims to Improve South Carolina Maternal and Child Health through Free, Innovative Text Messaging Service – South Carolina leaders announced today a coalition of local and state text4baby partners formed to connect pregnant and new moms to text messages that will help improve health outcomes for them and their babies. For the entire press release, click here.
 

July 2013

"We give each new mom a book for her newborn so that she and the family can begin reading to the baby right away," said Stephanie Crider, director of Her Place and Newborn Nursery at Regional Medical Center. This program was the result of the Midlands Class V group project, Baby Seeds Program, and supported with a gift of $3,000 from Regional Medical Center Foundation. Read more about its success! 


June 2013

Text4baby gives vital help new, expectant moms. The State
 

February 2013

Three Clarendon County residents have become a part of The Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI): Bea Rivers, Dwight Stewart and Billy Richardson. Claredon Citizen


October 2012

Read about Wendy Pollitzer's experience as a DLI participant. Wendy is the Producer and Writer for WHHI-TV and was part of the Lowcountry Class VII. Read more.  If you would like to read about the group project, weeROAR, click here.
 

August 2012

Nika White, a graduate of Upstate Class XI, has been named the Greenville Chamber's Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, and Ben Haskew, a graduate of Upstate Class II, has been named the Chair-Elect of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. Read more


July 2012

Nursery Road Elementary, in conjunction with Diversity Leadership Initiative (DLI) of the Riley Institute, developed a toolkit to help transform struggling schools. The team, The Triple Nickel Group, Midlands V, set out to discover the formula for Nursery Road Elementary's success, and then offer other schools the tools to achieve the same success. MidlandsBiz


June 2012

SCRA announced that CEO Bill Mahoney from Lowcountry Class I, Spring 2006, was recently selected as a finalist for the Executive of the Year, Non-Profit by the 2012 American Business Awards. This national award, known as The Stevie Award, recognizes the achievements and contributions of businesses worldwide. MidlandsBiz

Adela Mendoza, Upstate Class VIII, has been tapped as the first executive director of the Hispanic Alliance. The Greenville News


May 2012

"Putting Teen Pregnancy on Hold" is one of the four SuperCapstones projects from the inaugural OneSouthCarolina event. A recent article states that since the early 1990s, the teen birth rate in South Carolina has decreased more than 40 percent, with some of the largest decreases in recent years. This progress has led the Centers for Disease Control to declare teen pregnancy a winnable battle. The State


April 2012  

Program Director Brock Koonce from Greenville Forward was a graduate from Upstate Class XII. The group, of which he was a part, developed their community project called “Marking a Difference.” It is an interactive program that shares the diverse history of our community through a website platform and mobile technology. The program is partially funded by the Community Foundation of Greenville. For more information, read the complete article that appeared in Greenville Forward's newsletter.  


March 2012

Beth Templeton, Upstate Class I, has published a new book, Conversations on the Porch.  Click here to read more about it. 

Read about Pete Selleck, a participant of DLI Upstate XIII. The Greenville News

Over the Horizon group members (Lowcountry, Class VI) aimed to teach the importance of cultural diversity through an abstract way: understanding biodiversity. Taking students from two culturally diverse high schools, Wando and Burke High School, group members led these students on an exploration of Bulls Island, a wildlife refuge of Cape Romain. Through an excursion into the wild, these students learned how the interdependence of plant and animal life could relate to the interdependence of the diverse cultures and heritages of the Lowcountry. Read more about this project The Post and CourierA report on ABC News 4, Charleston, SC
 

January 2012

In keeping with the success of the DLI initiative, the Riley Institute announced its newest enterprise developed to promote diversity within the area: the Diversity Recruitment Consortium (DRC). According to Benny Walker, senior associate of the Riley Institute, the Diversity Recruit Consortium will develop “tactical strategies” to support business organizations across the state that are committed to expanding their pool of recruits. Greenville Business Magazine


October 2011

The South Carolina Diversity Council held its 7th Annual Excellence in Workplace Diversity Awards. For information about the winners of this award, read the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce press release; for photos, click here.

Ernest Crosby, a DLI graduate from Upstate Class VII, Fall 2008, was inducted into the CCES Sports Hall of Fame. Read more


September 2011

"Women Leaders needed for Stronger Community" by Ben Haskew (DLI Upstate II, Fall 2004) and Sam Konduros. The Greenville News

As part of The Gladiators (DLI Upstate XI, Spring 2011) project, the group's goal was to seek a way to promote and encourage healthier nutrition among children in the Upstate. Read "School culinary training brings healthier food" for an update on the progress of this project. The Greenville News

Embracing diversity in Greenville by Judith Prince (DLI Upstate V, Fall 2006). Greenville News Online


July 2011

Jeffrey Graham (DLI Midlands Class III, Spring 2010) became the youngest South Carolina mayor at 26 in 2008 and has another first: being the first president of the new Assocation of S.C. Mayors. The State

Heather Simmons Jones (DLI Upstate Class VII, Fall 2008) was elected as president of The S.C. Economic Developers’ Association during the association’s annual conference in Myrtle Beach. Columbia Regional Business Report 

Members of the Dream Builders Group (DLI Upstate Class XI, Spring 2011) have gone live with their website for the MLK Jr. Memorial Dedication Tour that will take place this fall.  For more information on the tour, visit their website.
 

June 2011

D.C. memorial focus of ‘Dream Builders’. Nika White and Brad Majors, two members of  the “Dream Builders” group of the Diversity Leaders Initiative Upstate Class XI, are encouraging Upstate residents to attend the historic unveiling of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in the nation’s capital on August 28 and organizing efforts to make that happen. Greenville News

"Parents can help children avoid summer slump" penned by Terry Plumb, a retired newspaper editor from Rock Hill and a Diversity Leaders Initiative graduate of the Midlands Class IV. He  wrote this article concerning his group's community project, START: Summer's Timeless Adventure, Read Today! The State

Ron Jones, a DLI graduate from Lowcountry Class I, has recently been named chairman of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. The Post and Courier 
 

May 2011

Congratulations to Joe Pye, newly selected South Carolina Superintendent of the year!  Mr. Pye is Superintendent of Dorchester School District Two and a Diversity Leaders Initiative graduate of the Lowcountry Class IV. The Post and Courier

The Riley Institute at Furman presented the seventh annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at the Carolina First Center in Greenville. Presented by Spartanburg Regional, the event was hosted by the Riley Institute at Furman, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, the Anderson Chamber of Commerce, and the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce. Over 500 Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) alumni and other community members were in attendance. GSA BusinessGreenvilleOnlineThe Greenville NewUpstateBizSC
 

April 2011

Mary Ann Pires, graduate of the Upstate Class XI, Dream School Team, wrote an article about the group's project.  Members of the Dream School Team created and implemented a program for St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in Greenville, intended to raise public awareness of the school’s educational success. The Greenville News 

Myriam Torres, a graduate of the Midlands Class III, has taken the lead on opposing the immigration bill in South Carolina. The State
 

March 2011

Juana Slade, the director of diversity and language services at AnMed Healthin Anderson and a graduate of the Diversity Leadership Initiative, Upstate Class II, has been named chairwomen of the United Way National Women's Leadership Council. GSA Business 
 

February 2011

Jennie Stephens, executive director of the Center for Heirs' Property Preservation and a Lowcountry Class III graduate, is helping preserve heirs' property. The Post and Courier

Trip Gregory III, senior vice president of Palmetto Health and an Upstate Class III graduate, has been named the 2011 Human Resources Professional of the Year by the S.C. Chamber of Commerce and the S.C. State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management. Columbia Regional Business Report

The Salvation Army has named Quenton Tompkins, former senior vice president of the United Way of Anderson County and an Upstate Class VIII graduate, as executive director of the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. Greenville Online

Tushar Chikhliker, a Midlands Class III Spring 2010 graduate, was named an “Emerging Leader” finalist by SC Lawyers Weekly. Read more . . .

Tushar Chikhliker was also named as one of the recipients of the "20 under 40 in South Carolina" award. The State

Fred Washington, Jr., a Lowcountry Class V Fall 2010 graduate, boosts school performance of at-risk students through a community development program. Island Packet


January 2011

Marie Goff, Midlands Class II Spring 2009, was selected the first female General in the SC National Guard. The State

Read about Beaufort County Board of Education Chairman and DLI alum from Lowcountry Class V, Fred Washington Jr., and his involvement with the Neighborhood Outreach Connection, a community-development group already operating on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton. The neighborhood outreach focuses on fighting poverty by bringing support directly into low-income neighborhoods consisting primarily of black and Hispanic families. Its outreach programs include workforce development, health, and education, such as tutoring programs. The Island Packet
 

July 2010

The Riley Institute at Furman announces Midlands Diversity Leaders Initiative Class III Graduates Read more . . .

The Riley Institute at Furman announces Upstate Diversity Leaders Initiative Class IX Graduates Read more . . .


May 2010

Juan Johnson Joins the Furman Board of Trustees. Read more . . .

The Sixth Annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner took place on May 4th at the Spartanburg Marriott Hotel. Presented by Spartanburg Regional, the event was hosted by the Riley Institute at Furman, the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Greenville Chamber. Read an article about Spartanburg Regional, who was honored with the Outstanding Business Award, in the GSA Business JournalThe Greenville News
 

April 2010 

Juan Johnson received an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Humanities from Furman University during spring convocation and gave an address, "Why Diversity is an Asset."  For photos, click hereclick here for Furman's Press Release
 

August 2009 

Paul Guy (DLI Upstate Class IV) stated, "Merle Code is one of the pioneers of diversity. When you see Merl, you don't see color." Merl Code (DLI Upstate Class IV) was honored at the Beyond Differences banquet for promoting diversity and opening hearts. The Greenville News


May 2009

The Fifth Annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner was hosted by the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce and offered in cooperation with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce. "Nine in Upstate earn diversity awards, The Greenville News"Ceremony in Anderson honors those who have championed diversity," Anderson Independent Mail


March 2009 

Colones, Glenn, DuBard to participate in the Riley initiative.  Colones said, "We embrace this as an opportunity for sharing information and gathering ideas, as we move towards the future of our health care organization. Read more . . .


October 2008

An Upstate Alumni Reunion took place on Thursday, August 28, 2008. Over 130 business, civic and community leaders in the Upstate gathered to celebrate five years of diversity leadership development through the Riley Institute at Furman. The visual, auditory and olfactory treats were in abundance as the rhythmic sounds of steel drums and the Appalachian foothills provided a magnificent backdrop for a fitting celebration at the home of Anne and Bill Masters, both members of The Riley Institute’s inaugural diversity leadership class. Greenville Magazine


September/October 2008

SCBIZ publishes Inclusion, The Power of Diversity in Action, which highlights diversity issues. The September/October issue featured the following articles: Diversity in the 21st century: Capturing the power of an all-inclusive definitionDiversity by designWanted: Diversity managerPlanting seeds, transforming communitiesCU-ICAR puts diversity into actionWomen in politics in South CarolinaWalgreens Breaking barriers and Building careers


May 2008

John Simpkins, the keynote for the Fourth Annual Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner, used the backdrop of the US Presidential race as a springboard to talk about the growing diversity in the workplace. "Six given awards for diversity in the Upstate," The Greenville NewsWalgreens Anderson distribution center is honored for diversity efforts, Anderson Independent Mail


March 2008 

"Survey sheds light on Greenvillians' attitudes on race: local organizations find more religious that racial tension," The Greenville News 


January 2008 

Calder D. Ehrmann's middle name could be diversity.  Calder was awarded the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Humanitarian Award by the Urban League of the Upstate. The Greenville News


October 2007 

"Wall Street Journal declares 'Death of Diversity'" The Riley Institute offers alternative path through the Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Initiative program penned by Juan Johnson, a Riley Institute Senior Associate and facilitator of this program.

 
June 2007 

Bill Settlemyer, a 2007 graduate (Lowcountry Class II) from the diversity program penned an article about the Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative. Charleston Regional Business Journal


May 2007

The Third Annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner was hosted by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce.Anderson Independent MailGo UpstateThe Greenville NewsThe Greenville NewsGreenville Magazine
 

November 2006 

NAACP gives honors to the City Manager Jim Bourey and the Riley Institute. Read how the Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative program works to create dialogue among CEOs and high level managers about the importance of embracing diversity in the workplace and broader community. The Greenville News
 

October 2006 

Kimberly Cooley, Upstate Class IV, penned an article about the program. Visions

May 2006 

Wachovia invests in diversity program at Furman.  Bank gives $500,000 to leadership academy at the Riley Institute. The Greenville NewsFurman press release

The Second Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner was hosted by the Anderson Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce and the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce. Anderson Independent MailThe Greenville News
 

April 2006 

Calder Ehrmann, a Senior Associate with the Riley Institute, writes about how "Improving diversity landscape will strengthen state," The Greenville News


May 2005

The Inaugural Annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner was hosted by the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Anderson Chamber of Commerce and the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce. The Greenville NewsGreenville Journal


February 2004 

A group from the inaugural class called RSVP examined the impact of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law on Greenville's school district, especially Title I schools. The Greenville News


December 2003 

Furman unveils Diversity Leadership Academy, The Greenville Journal

Diversity Leadership Program participants create projects for healthcare, education and business, The Greenville News 

Local leaders develop a palette for creating a more colorful city, The Greenville News