Carlos Phillips, President/CEO of the Greenville Chamber, is one of 45 leaders from across the Upstate and surrounding areas selected to participate in the 23rd Upstate class of the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI). “We are encouraged for the future of this state with the addition of each new class of Fellows because of their commitment to positive change and dedicated efforts to see it through,” said Dr. Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute.
Poised to join more than 1700 Riley Fellows from across the state, class members meet for five months in a format driven by timely, relevant case studies and other experiential learning tools designed to maximize interactions and productive relationships among program participants. DLI is 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. As part of the program, leaders also work in cross-sector groups to respond to real issues and opportunities in their communities through capstone service projects.
Participants reflecting South Carolina’s demographics and representing the corporate, nonprofit, education, faith-based and government sectors are chosen by nomination and application. “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,” Gordon said.