Riley Institute, Duke Energy work on diversity leadership programs

A $100,000 grant from Duke Energy along with a matching grant from Duke employees will help Furman University’sRiley Institute with two of its diversity leadership programs.

The money will help Furman pilot an expansion of its existing Diversity Leadership Initiative, which focuses on the state’s top leadership from various sectors.

The expansion will bring education and law enforcement together who are responsible for building culture in their organizations. Education and law enforcement professionals will work together on diversity-focused service projects in their community.


The Riley Institute will also pilot a program based on its Emerging Public Leaders program.

The Emerging Diversity Leaders program will be a nine-month diversity-focused leadership program for rising high school seniors.

“The curriculum will teach participants how to lead in diverse settings, engage in the community, analyze critical issues, lead ethnically, communicate and present effectively and plan for the implementation of a diversity-focused community service project,” according to a release.

In correlation with staff from the Riley Institute, the program will have focus on the diverse population of South Carolina.

Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute, said the generosity of families of victims in the recent shootings in Charleston is a driving force behind the new initiatives.

“We cannot teach that. But we can continue to grow our long-term, statewide capacity to drive an enduring, systemic understanding and appreciation of the inherent value of our diverse population,” Gordon said.

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Alyssa BennettRiley Institute, Duke Energy work on diversity leadership programs