Back to News List

E.A. “Beth” De Santis Selected to Become Riley Diversity Fellow

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February 1, 2018—Columbia, SC: E.A. “Beth” De Santis, CEO of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, is one of 41 leaders from across the Midlands and surrounding area selected to participate in the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) this spring.

“Though we are a diverse population, discovering ways in which differences can be a strength in our organizations is of utmost importance as we seek to grow and support a thriving economy and rich culture,” 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, De Santis will learn about diversity and inclusion “blind spots” and how to suspend assumptions. De Santis 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 Midlands, DLI classes are selected annually in the Upstate and Lowcountry.

“We now have more than 1900 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.