Riley Institute selects SCAC’s Platts to be Riley Fellow

Joins 13th Diversity Leaders Initiative class


For Immediate Release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director David Platts joins other leaders selected from across the Midlands to participate in the Riley Institute at Furman’s 13th Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) class.

David Platts official headshot

David Platts

“Discovering ways in which differences can strengthen 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 nominations from existing Riley Fellows, 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, Platts will take part in a highly interactive curriculum consisting of case studies, scenario analyses and other experiential learning tools that maximize interaction and discussion among classmates and facilitate productive relationships. He will also work with other class members in one of five capstone project groups formed to respond to real issues in the community.

“Ensuring diversity is important to me, and it is important to the arts commission. Evaluating our approach to be more inclusive has been a critical initiative early in my tenure here. Being a Riley Fellow will only help me improve our processes at the SCAC,” Platts said.

The DLI classes are 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 2200 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.

To see a full list of participants and for more information about the Diversity Leaders Initiative, visit https://riley.furman.edu/diversity.


About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians.

Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:

  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.



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