SDEI 2000: Organizational and Institutional Power

SDEI 2000
Course in Social Difference, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Course Description:

Power structures often order our personal and professional lives--from macro-level institutional frameworks governed by collective laws and policies to micro-level organizational relationships shaped through individual actions and practices. Some of these structures are designed to offer clear, open, and equitable social benefits for diverse populations. Others are situated within systems that obscure their harmful effects on specific, historically marginalized, groups. This course will offer learners a critical lexicon for identifying, describing, and engaging with organizational and institutional expressions of power. In addition to examining mixed-methods research, historical examples, and contemporary case studies that demonstrate relationships between power, structural hierarchies, and difference, learners will participate in simulations that highlight the personal “power maps” each of us navigate in social landscapes--across real-world professional spaces--every day.

Foundational Requirements Contributions

  • Analytical and Critical Skills
  • Communication
  • Cross-Cultural Interactions & Diversity
  • Historical Perspectives

This course requires the purchase of the following text: Organizational Power Politics: Tactics in Organizational Leadership (2nd Edition) by Gilbert W. Fairholm, ISBN 978-0274985609.

Course Credits:
1 course unit (c.u.)*
Term Format:
Accelerated 8-Week Term
2023 Term Offered
Spring 2 (accelerated): Mar 16 – May 9, 2023

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.


  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
  • Executive Head and Associate University Librarian for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Princeton University

Dr. Ufuoma C. Abiola is the inaugural executive head and associate university librarian for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Princeton University. As the first person of color to be appointed as an executive leader at Princeton University Library (PUL), she provides strategic vision, advice, and… Read more


Take the next steps to enroll in a course.

Get Started

Learn more about Penn LPS Online