Row4Life Global Diversity Initiative (R-GDI)
Leading with Diversity
The picture at left shows some ergs as well as the R-GDI poster at the University of Lynchburg in Drysdale Student Center.
R-GDI uses images from Row4Life as inspiration. See link below.
See "Docs and Videos" page of this website for PowerPoint summaries and cool videos.
December 6, 2023
For years, our society has been divided and torn by thinking too extremely on one side of an issue such as with race, ethnicity, gender, politics, etc. R-GDI seeks to change this narrative by exposing young student leaders of the world at various universities to discourse and interaction on and about global diversity. By so doing, these young men and women will better learn how to see other views and accept those differences as a strength rather than a weakness while becoming the next generation of state, national, and global leaders in the process.
This will be accomplished by sponsoring R-GDI forums, speeches, round tables and other events where thousands of student leaders from across the U.S. and the world will be invited.
R-GDI will also donate diversity-based inspirational posters as well a Concept2 erg (e.g., rowing machines) to students/universities who desire. This is not required, and are free of charge. These inspirational images are from Row4Life, an organization seeking to create the first national rowing team in South Sudan to foster leadership, national pride, and an appreciation for diversity to mitigate the ongoing ethnic-based conflict and civil war in South Sudan. See https://row4life.org.
While the erg can be used for exercise, it is primarily a political symbol for R-GDI and partner universities, embassies, military gyms, and other organizations promoting global diversity.
The ergs and/or posters are intended to be a congregation point for young student leaders to have discourse, interaction, and round tables on global diversity so as to transform themselves from student leaders into global leaders appreciating diversity as a strength, rather than a political issue or liability.
R-GDI Student Leaders will be recruited from the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), Model UN, former Senate Pages, SGAs, White House Interns, Newman Fellows, Bonner Leader Program, Model UN/EU, and University political/advocacy groups.
R-GDI is a global movement with global impact. R-GDI young leaders will someday change the world. Please spread the word of R-GDI to help make this vision a reality!
Junior, Westover Honors College
University of Lynchburg
CLICK on the image to the right to visit Row4Life.org.
The Row4Life Global Diversity Initiative (R-GDI) is a movement that is committed to three values
1. Global Diversity: In an increasingly globalized world where it seems more differences are found than commonalities, it is important to understand that diversity is a strength that can be utilized when done in the proper way. R-GDI uses the imagery from Row4Life, an organization seeking to end violence in South Sudan through creating the first South Sudan national Olympic rowing team, to promote intellectual discourse on issues concerning diversity and thereby promote global diversity in a way that unites people over their differences rather than divide them.
2. Global Leadership: Leadership is crucial in a world where many more are needed to address new challenging problems that are rising in politics, the environment and developing countries. However, many of these leaders are extreme and polarized in their views. R-GDI identifies student leaders of university campuses. These student leaders are encouraged to endorse the value of global diversity in terms of race, culture, and political ideals that they will carry with them for the rest of their life so when they are senior leaders in business, philanthropy, and politics they will try to be bridge builders for a new and challenging world.
3. Global Citizenship: In an increasingly globalized world where the line between people and nations are becoming increasingly blurred due to migration patterns and international trade it is important to promote a philosophy of global citizenship that embraces the commonality that we are all human regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, or political alignment. R-GDI imparts these values at university campuses across America and thereby educates the next generation on the importance of understanding the viewpoints of other peoples and groups.
Kyle is a Junior Westover Fellow at the University of Lynchburg with a passion for global leadership and public service.
Kyle had planned on joining the military but was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes (T1D) legally disqualifying him. He resolved to become a global leader by forming Kyle’s Campaigns for Change (KCC-T1D.org) in 2016 Row4Life (Row4Life.org) in 2021 and R-GDI (R-GDI.org) in 2022. Over the past three years, KCC has provided nearly $2 million of diabetic supplies to diabetes clinics in Uganda, South Sudan, and Sudan. In 2019, Kyle gave several speeches on KCC/Africa's diabetic issues, including the Davos-on-the-Delta conference in Memphis, TN.
Kyle then served as a U.S. Senate Page for Senator Mark Warner attending school/living in Washington, D.C. while working in the U.S. Senate Chamber in Spring, 2020. He and 29 other pages gained a unique perspective of federalism while closely interacting with our country's leadership. After the Page Program ended, Kyle and ten other pages formed the "Federalist Letters of South Sudan". Kyle and his fellow Democrat and Republican pages amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic wrote essays on aspects of federalism in the US while relating to their experiences in the Senate to be applied in South Sudan to avert a civil war. This project was presented to the South Sudan Ministry of Federal Affairs and First Vice President in August of 2020!
Row4Life aims to bring the sport of rowing to South Sudan as a means of mitigating the ongoing civil war. This consists of placing erg rowing machines, which measure athleticism in rowing, in youth concentrated areas in all ten States throughout South Sudan so that natural athletes among the South Sudanese can be found. Once identified, these young men and will be groomed for scholarships to UK and US rowing schools and eventually form a South Sudan Olympic team.
The Row4Life Global Diversity Initiative (R-GDI) promotes global diversity among future leaders by promoting discourse among young leaders attending college, worldwide. These R-GDI leaders promote global diversity via discourse while the imagery and success of Row4Life and South Sudan will be used as inspiration for those discussions among students.
Recently, Kyle became both a Newman Civic Fellow and Clinton Foundation Fellow for promoting global diversity among student leaders, his humanitarian efforts in Africa, and serving his community of Lynchburg as a Bonner Leader with the Mayor of Lynchburg. Kyle intends on serving in national elected office someday.
Kyle with two future leaders at the DMA Orphanage in Kabo (20 miles from Juba), S. Sudan
This poster (back wall) and other imagery from Row4Life is adjacent to all ergs whenever an erg is donated. A copy of the poster is in the Files Tab of this website.
Promotional material showing inspirational images from the first South Sudan Rowing Team will represent diversity. Here, these students were introduced to an erg that was donated; the response was overwhelming.
Kyle Thaller is a junior Political Science major at the University of Lynchburg striving to make a difference through global diversity
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