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The Director of Education at PBS North Carolina will be a part of a national class designed to explore opportunities and challenges related to diversity, equity and inclusion in the public media sector.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 2/23/2021 — Mallory Mbalia, Director of Education at PBS North Carolina, joins other distinguished public media leaders from across the country to participate in the Public Media Diversity Leaders Initiative (PMDLI), a program of the Riley Institute at Furman University. It is offered in partnership with South Carolina ETV and modeled after the Institute’s award-winning South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative. 

Mbaliais one of 33 individuals to be a part of the initiative’s third cohort. “I am very excited about the opportunity to converse, learn and grow with representatives from other PBS member stations and public media organizations,” says Mbalia. “Equitable awareness and access are the foundation of all our education outreach efforts at PBS North Carolina. We serve the entire state, which is so beautifully diverse. Every North Carolinian deserves to feel included and valued.” 

Participants will take part in a highly interactive curriculum comprising scenario analyses and other experiential learning tools that support public media leaders in their efforts to apply diversity, equity and inclusion principles to behaviors, systems and cultures within their organizations. 

PBS North Carolina’s Education & Innovation division plans to create professional development opportunities for educators on cultural representation in the classroom. This spring it will explore the topic at an early childhood education summit. Its Rootle Ambassadors program, which celebrates and supports the work of community leaders across the state, ensures every part of North Carolina has access to learning resources that speak to their unique needs. 

“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.”  

Collectively, PMDLI participants 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. Upon graduating from the program in June, members of the class will help identify future program participants. 

“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 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.” 

For more information about the Public Media Diversity Leaders Initiative, visit To explore PBS North Carolina’s resources for kids, parents and educators, visit


About the Riley Institute at Furman University  

Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute advances social and economic progress in South Carolina and beyond by building leadership for a diverse society, hosting expert speakers to broaden perspectives on critical issues, supporting public education and creating knowledge through community solutions-focused research. It is committed to nonpartisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change. Learn more at

About PBS North Carolina  

As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third-largest public media market, PBS NC educates, informs, entertains and inspires its statewide audience on-air, online and in-person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS Kids and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, PBS NC serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state’s emergency services. Visit and join the conversation at and @MyPBSNC on Instagram and Twitter.  


Media Contacts: 
Kathleen Kramer, PBS North Carolina Marketing & Communications