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RELEASE: WKAR’s Amanda Flores Graduates from National Diversity Program

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EAST LANSING, MI; Jan 24, 2023 – WKAR's Amanda Flores is one of 29 public media leaders to graduate recently from the Public Media Diversity Leaders Initiative (PMDLI).

As public media leaders navigate how to best foster diversity and equity in their workplaces and boards while making content inclusive for a wide array of audiences, the program provides them with tools and perspectives that they can apply in their efforts.

Flores was part of the fourth class to graduate from the PMDLI, a program of the Riley Institute at Furman University, on December 8, 2022.It is offered in partnership with South Carolina ETV and modeled after the Institute’s award-winning South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative.

Flores joined WKAR as senior director of diversity, equity, and inclusion in July of 2022.

“PMDLI was a great opportunity for me to dive into the conversations happening in public media around diversity and inclusion,” said Flores. “My previous training has primarily been in higher education, so the chance to participate in PMDLI not only gave me the chance to expand my expertise of DEI in public media, but it helped me grow my network and establish relationships with DEI leaders in public media as well.”

Over the course of five months, participants took part in a highly interactive curriculum comprising scenario analyses and other experiential learning tools that supports public media leaders in their efforts to apply diversity, equity, and inclusion principles to behaviors, systems, and cultures within their organizations.

“Today’s heightened awareness of racial and other inequities in American institutions has magnified and accelerated organizational and stakeholder expectations that public media leaders establish diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values within their organizations,” said Anthony Padgett, president and CEO of South Carolina ETV. “Recognizing that, we are proud to partner with the Riley Institute to offer this unique virtual program to our peers from across the country.”

Graduates of PMDLI become Public Media Diversity Fellows and will help identify future program participants. Collectively, they reflect a vast public media ecosystem, representing both television and radio as well as a variety of geographic regions, audiences, affiliate organizations, and diversity dimensions. A fifth PMDLI class will start the program in February.

“The Riley Institute is proud to play a role in connecting a network of public media professionals who are committed to managing, leading, and meeting the needs of increasingly diverse workers, clients, and audiences,” said Dr. Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact this program will have in communities across the country.”

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