UNION COUNTY — Union County School District Superintendent Dr. William F. Roach, Jr., is one of 44 leaders from across the Upstate and surrounding area selected to participate in the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) this fall.
“In a time of considerable division, both nationally and locally, it is increasingly important to work together to find ways to foster a thriving economy and break down barriers that hinder progress,” said Dr. Donald Gordon, Executive Director of the Riley Institute.
DLI class members are identified through a rigorous process including a nomination, application and interview. Individuals are selected to join the class based on their capacity to impact their organizations and communities.
Over the course of five months, Dr. Roach will learn about diversity and inclusion “blind spots” and how to suspend assumptions. Dr. Roach will also work in small, cross-sector groups to respond to real issues and opportunities in the community through a service project. The DLI classes are expertly facilitated by Juan Johnson, an independent consultant and former Coca-Cola vice president.
“DLI is unique among South Carolina’s leadership programs. In addition to the opportunity to develop new relationships and take part in positive action in their communities, participants gain deep knowledge of how to effectively manage and lead diverse workers, clients and constituents,” said Johnson.
DLI graduates become Riley Fellows, members of a powerful, cross-sector, statewide leadership network that includes CEOs of corporations, mayors, city and county council members, legislators, school superintendents, pastors and rabbis, non-profit heads, chamber of commerce directors, and community leaders. In addition to the Upstate, DLI classes are selected annually in the Midlands and Lowcountry.
“We now have [1,824] Riley Fellows statewide. Each new class further extends the reach and impact of leaders willing to work together to make South Carolina a better place to live and work for all its residents,” said Gordon.