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Richland Library Leader Chosen to Join Important Conversations on Diversity

Columbia, SC– Melanie Huggins of Richland Library is one of 42 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, Huggins will learn about diversity and inclusion “blind spots” and how to suspend assumptions. Huggins 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 graduates become Riley Fellows, members of a powerful, cross-sector, statewide leadership network that include 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.

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