Assistant Superintendent for School Leadership Dr. Megan Mitchell-Hoefer and Monaview Elementary Principal Damon Qualls join other leaders selected from across the Upstate and surrounding area to participate in the Riley Institute at Furman’s 28th class of Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI).
“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, Mitchell-Hoefer and Qualls 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.
Mitchell-Hoefer and Qualls will also work with other class members in one of five Capstone project groups formed to respond to real issues in the community.
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 Upstate, DLI classes are selected annually in the Midlands and Lowcountry.
Assistant Superintendent for School Leadership Dr. Megan Mitchell-Hoefer
Monaview Elementary Principal Damon Qualls
“We now have more than 2,100 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