Dr. Riddick receives UNC Diversity Award

Published 5:10 pm Friday, July 1, 2022

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CHAPEL HILL – A local man credits his upbringing in a rural environment that helped pave the way for him to earn a prestigious honor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Christopher Riddick was recognized with the Alumni Award, part of the 2022 Diversity Awards presented May 26 at UNC-Chapel Hill. The event is now in its 14th year.

Dr. Christopher Riddick

Riddick is the son of Dorothy Riddick-Saunders and Anthony Saunders and Rev. Linwood Riddick Jr. and Emma Jean Riddick, all of Gates. He is a 1995 graduate of Gates County High School where he served as the commencement speaker for the graduating Class of 2021.

Upon accepting the Diversity Award, he spoke of the challenges he faced upon enrolling at UNC, but credited his mom for her calming voice.

“With the undying support of my mother, I manage to persist and graduate,” Riddick said. “I think about how that decision to stay forever changed my life.”

He went on to credit the environment at UNC-Chapel for “opening me to the beautiful diversity of the world we live in.”

After his days at UNC, Riddick attended the University of Indiana where he first studied matters pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“That guided me to a path in management consulting,” working with some of the most prestigious firms in the world,” Riddick stated.

Addressing the work that still lies ahead in diversity, equity, and inclusion, Riddick stated, “I know that the ultimate realization of this work may not be fully achieved in my lifetime, but there’s hope for the world my children will live in

While Washington, DC is where he now resides, Dr. Riddick is a proud son of North Carolina and hails from the rural county of Gates. His upbringing was significant in shaping his identity and fuels many of his passions today.

Dr. Riddick has nearly 15 years of experience in the management consulting industry, currently serving as Head of Client Experience and Principal at ReadySet, a diversity, equity, and inclusion boutique consulting firm. Prior to joining ReadySet, Dr. Riddick served in various consulting capacities at Deloitte Consulting, Accenture Federal Services, and Booz Allen Hamilton. He is intent on helping organizations truly exhibit what they frequently say but are often challenged to demonstrate: that people are their most valued assets.

Dr. Riddick received both his Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Analysis (2000) and Master of Public Administration (2007) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While an undergraduate at Carolina, Dr. Riddick was a member of the Mu Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. He was also active in several student activities including serving as a counselor for Summer Bridge, a counselor for Project Uplift, a resident advisor in Ehringhaus Residence Hall, and the Local Student Government liaison for Carolina Student Government. Dr. Riddick was a saxophonist in UNC’s concert band, jazz lab band, and marching band. He was a drum major in the marching band during his senior year. As a graduate student, Dr. Riddick served as the Assistant Director of Summer Bridge.

Dr. Riddick also holds a Master of Science in Education from Indiana University. He completed his Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education in 2017, where his dissertation focused on barriers to racial and ethnic staff diversity in nonprofit organizations. He has actively remained connected to Rossier over the years, whether serving as an ambassador of the Organizational Change and Leadership doctoral program, serving as a mentor for Rossier’s Learning Design and Technology master’s program, appearing as a guest lecturer in several doctoral courses, or, most recently, serving as an adjunct faculty member in the Organizational Change and Leadership doctoral program.

Outside of his professional responsibilities, Dr. Riddick serves as vice-chair of a charter school board in Washington, DC. In addition, he serves as a member of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Visitors as well as Carolina’s Alumni Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. In addition, he was recently appointed to the University of North Carolina School of Government Foundation Advisory Board as well as UNC’s School of Education’s Board of Visitors. In all these capacities Dr. Riddick is charged with promoting and advancing the university through engaging with diverse alumni.

But, most importantly, Dr. Riddick is a devoted husband and father of three. He is a lover of music, bacon, and bourbon and enjoys quality time with friends when any or all three are present.