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University of Oklahoma

Spring 2022 Advanced Programs - Advanced Programs Online - Human Relations

[H R 5053] Diversity/Justice-Organizatns - 492

Marilyn Byrd

Course Description

Diversity and Justice in Organizations

Human relations professionals perform work that is highly contextualized and centered on service to people. Simply speaking, this means that a human relations professional has a high level of contact and interaction with all types of people. For this reason, human relations professionals need to have a better understanding of the experiences of diverse groups; particularly those that are defined as socially marginalized based on their social identity (race, gender, nationality, age, disability, ethnicity, religion) and who are protected by United States laws and mandates. In many instances, human relations professionals may be involved in representing the rights of protected groups. Towards this end, this course will focus on concepts of justice in organizations, and the changing demographics of our society, especially related to race and culture, gender, age, disability, and socio-economic status. Emphasis will be placed on effective organizational management of diversity for social justice outcomes.

Course Dates

DatesJanuary 2-April 30, 2022
Last day to enroll or drop without penaltyDecember 4, 2021

Site Director

This is a three-credit hour online course. Please see your local Site Director or email our online site coordinator at

Professor Contact Information

Course Professor:Dr. Marilyn Y. Byrd
Mailing Address:601 Elm, Physical Science Bldg., Room 704
Norman, OK. 73019
Telephone Number:405-325-6405
Fax Number:405-325-3302
Professor availability:Online office hours will be posted to the course website.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online.

Materials posted on the OU Canvas learning management system: Access Canvas at, enter your OU NetID and password, and select course to access material. If you require assistance with Canvas, please click on the Help icon.  You can search the Canvas guides, chat with Canvas support, or contact OU IT. 

Required Software: 

You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer in order to access course documents. If you do not yet have them installed, you can download them here: 1. Adobe Acrobat Reader: 2. Adobe Flash Player:

Diversity in the Workforce
Diversity in the Workforce
by Byrd, Marilyn Y.
Published by Routledge
ISBN: 9781138731431

OU Email

All official correspondence from instructors will be sent only to students’ address. 

Online Orientation

The College of Arts and Sciences offers an online orientation for students who are enrolled in online or blended courses. The purpose of the orientation is to ensure that students are well prepared both technically and practically to take online courses. The orientation can be found on their website at:

The College of Arts and Sciences Online and Academic Technology Services office is here to assist you with any questions, problems, or concerns you may have. For assistance visit their website at or contact them by telephone at: (405) 325-5854 or email:

Course Objectives

This course aims to:

  1. provide a structure by which to recognize, challenge, and seek to change imbalances in power structures that deny equal respect, dignity, and rights to inclusion for the socially marginalized,
  2. recognize the responsibility to act ethically in decision-making that impacts socially marginalized groups,
  3. remind us that human relations is about treating people as human beings; recognizing this impact goes beyond our individual actions, but is something that has systemic implications that informs our entire society’s way of being, and
  4. recognize social justice as an expected outcome for studying diversity.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. explain the concept of diversity as a social construct in organizational contexts and recognize the varying forms;
  2. explain historical and theoretical perspectives of diversity;
  3. conceptualize social perspectives of diversity from a human relations perspective;
  4. explain the need for discourse on social perspectives of diversity in the workforce;
  5. critically analyze the major issues, problems, and challenges related to social perspectives of diversity in the U. S.;
  6. conceptualize the meaning of diversity inclusion;
  7. recognize the shift in thinking towards social justice and social change outcomes;
  8. utilize case-study approach for applying diversity related social issues in practice; and
  9. apply social justice advocacy and to practical situations.

Course Outline

Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

Weekly Discussion Posts.

You will participate in a discussion board topic each week. The discussion topic will relate to the chapter reading for the week. I use an evidence based approach for discussions. An evidence based approach means that your responses contain evidence of a scholarly perspective to support and validate your responses. While I do invite practical work experience, you should include a scholarly perspective that shows evidence of ways that research informs practice. This approach develops your competency to link research to practice. Read more about discussion board participation, including expectations, and evaluation of discussions under the course module “Instructions for Discussion Board Participation.”

Reflections on Diversity and Justice (paper)

This is a short paper that establishes a baseline for your personal insights on diversity and justice. Deliverable: minimum 2 full pages, double spaced, Times New Roman font following APA formatting guidelines. Detailed instructions can be found under Modules at the course website in Canvas. See schedule for due dates.

Critical Analysis of a Case Study. 

This is a formal, critical analysis of an assigned case from the textbook that requires an application of credible, scholarly sources, including the textbook. Complete instructions and grading rubric are included under the course modules tab at the course website. See schedule for due dates.

Video Report.

You will view a YouTube video lecture, “Leveraging Differences,” presented by Dr. Martin Davidson, Darden School of Business. Dr. Davidson presents a philosophy of leveraging differences which eventually resulted in his book, The End of Diversity as We Know It. Your assignment will be to prepare an analysis/critique of Dr. Davidson's lecture that speaks from a business perspective of diversity and consider how his philosophy aligns with or contradicts the human relations philosophy that is a foundational philosophy for this course. Complete instructions and grading rubric for this assignment are posted in the course under Modules. See schedule for due dates.

Final Exam.

Online exam consisting of 50 objective type questions. The final exam will cover the chapters covered in the course and other supplemental materials that I post. You will access the final exam from the course navigation bar under Quizzes. See schedule for due dates.


This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F. A = 900-1000 pts; B = 800-899 pts; C = 700-799 pts. (Rounding .5 and >)

Criteria for Evaluation.

Substantive content and the quality of the writing will be considered in all written assignments, including discussion board postings. Substantive content includes closely following instructions for the content of the assignment. Quality of writing covers clarity of expression and organization, appropriate use of references and academic writing style, use of inclusive language, and correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. APA writing style is required in discussion board postings and written assignments.

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.

Overview of Points

Introductory discussion post25
Reflection post (end of course)25
Weekly evidence based discussion posts450
Reflections on Diversity and Justice paper100
Critical case study analysis125
Video Report 125
Final Exam150
Total Points possible1000

Attendance Policy

In addition to interaction via Canvas and email contact, students are required to contact the instructor via email or telephone before the beginning of the course term for an initial briefing. Although physical class meetings are not part of this course, participation in all interactive, learning activities is required.

Student assignments and student/instructor communications will be conducted via Canvas, although students may contact the instructor via telephone, postal mail, email, or fax as needed

Policy on Late Assignments

Please contact the professor regarding his/her policy for late work

Incomplete Grade Policy

A grade of “I” is not automatically assigned, but rather must be requested by the student by submitting to the instructor a “Petition for and Work to Remove an Incompleted Grade” form. An “I” can never be used in lieu of an “F” nor can an “I” be assigned because of excessive failure to participate in class activities.

Technical Support Information

If you experience technical problems, contact Information Technology by visiting their website at: or contacting them by telephone at: (405) 325-HELP (4357).


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Marilyn Y. Byrd, Ph.D.


Ph.D., Texas A & M University, College Station. TX.

MBA, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.

Current Positions

Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma, Human Relations

Program Director, Human Relations Inclusive Leadership online Masters Program

Major Areas of Teaching

●       Human Resources for the Human Relations Professional

●       Organizational Behavior

●       Leadership in Organizations

●       Diversity and Justice in Organizations

Research Interests

●       Organizational social justice and social change

●       Spirituality as a response to social oppression

●       Organizational social justice ethics (emerging research)

●       Experiences of intersectionality in leadership  

●       Issues emerging from workforce diversity 

Representative Publications and Presentations


●       Byrd, M., & Scott, C. (Editors /Authors). (2018). Diversity in the workforce: Current issues and emerging trends, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge.  

●       Hughes, C., & Byrd, M. (2015). Managing human resource development programs. Palgrave MacMillan

●       Scott, C., & Byrd, M. (Editors/Authors). (2012). Handbook of research on workforce diversity in a global society: Technologies and concepts. Hershey, PA: IGI

Journal Special Issue (Editor)

Byrd, M. (Ed). (Winter, 2016). Spirituality in the workforce: Philosophical and social justice perspectives. New Directions in Adult & Continuing Education. San Francisco: Wiley Publishing. ISBN: 9781119356349

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles 

●       Byrd, M. Y. (2017). Does HRD have a moral duty to respond to matters of social injustice? Human Resource Development International, 1-9.

●        Byrd, M. Y. (2016). The enlightened revelation: Toward a spirit-centered, socially just workplace. In M. Byrd (Ed.). Spirituality in the workforce: Philosophical and social justice perspectives (pp. 85-94), New Directions in Adult & Continuing Education. San Francisco: Wiley Publishing.

●       Byrd, M. Y. (2014). Diversity issues: Exploring “critical” through multiple lenses. In J. Gedro, J. Collins, & T. S. Rocco (Eds.), Critical Perspectives and the Advancement of HRD, Advances in Developing Human Resources, 16(4), 281-298.

●       Byrd, M. (2009). Telling our stories: If we don’t tell them they won’t be told. In Byrd, M., & Stanley, C. A. (Eds.), Giving Voice: The Socio-cultural Realities of African American women’s leadership experiences, Advances in Developing Human Resources, 11(5), 582-605.

●       Byrd, M., & Stanley, C., A. (2009). Bringing the voices together. In Byrd, M., & Stanley, C. A. (Eds.), Giving Voice: the Socio-cultural Realities of African American women’s leadership experiences. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 11(5), 657-666.

●       Byrd, M. (2009). Theorizing African American Women’s leadership experiences: Socio-Cultural theoretical alternatives. Advancing Women in Leadership Journal, 27(2).

●       Byrd, M. (2008). Negotiating new meanings of “leader” and envisioning culturally informed theories for developing African American women in leadership roles: An interview with Patricia Parker, Human Resource Development International, 11(1), 101-107. 

●       Byrd, M. (2007). The effects of racial conflict on organizational performance. New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, 21(1/2), 13-28. Miami: Florida International University. 

●       Byrd, M. (2007). Educating and developing leaders of racially diverse organizations. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 18(2), 275-279. 

Book Chapters 

●       Lloyd-Jones, B., & Byrd, M. Y. (2018). Developing culturally responsive mentoring in the professoriate: A theoretical model. In H. Mackey & E. Murakami, Beyond Marginality: Understanding the Value of the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in Studying Educational Leadership. Information Age Publishing Inc

●       Byrd, M. Y., & Lloyd-Jones, B. (2016). Developing a social justice-oriented workforce diversity concentration in human relations academic programs. In C. L. Scott & J. D. Sims (Eds.) Developing workforce diversity programs, curriculum, and degrees (pp. 179-196). Hershey, PA: IGI.

●       Byrd, M. Y. (2016). Selective Incivility: A micro aggression targeting racial and ethnic groups in the workplace (pp.123-149). In M. F. Karsten (Ed). Gender, race, and ethnicity in the workplace: Emerging issues and enduring challenges (pp. 123-149). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

●       Byrd, M. (2016). Women of Color in leadership. Rendering the invisible visible. In R. Alavi (Ed.) Ethics and leadership. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

●       Byrd, M. (2014). A social justice paradigm for human resource development: Philosophical and theoretical foundations. In N. Chalofsky, T. Rocco, & M. L. Morris, Handbook of Human Resource Development: The Discipline and the Profession (pp. 281-298). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

●       Byrd, M., & Hughes, C. (2014). A paradigm shift for diversity management: From promoting business opportunity to optimizing lived career work experiences. In Hughes, C. (Ed.), Impact of Diversity on Organization and Career Development. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

●       Byrd, M. (2012). Critical race theory: A framework for examining social identity diversity of Black women in positions of leadership. In C. Scott & M. Byrd (eds.), Handbook of research on workforce diversity in a global society: technologies and concepts. (pp. 426-439), Hershey, PA: IGI 

●       Byrd, M., & Chlup, D. (2012). Theorizing African American women’s learning and development in predominantly white organizations: Expanding the conversation on adult learning theories. In C. Scott & M. Byrd (eds.), Handbook of research on workforce diversity in a global society: technologies and concepts. (pp 38-55), Hershey, PA: IGI

Book Chapter Invited

Byrd, M. (2012). Theorizing leadership of demographically diverse leaders. In M. Paludi (ed.), Managing Diversity in Today's Workplace: Strategies for Employees and Employers (Women and Careers in Management. Santa Barbara, CA.: Praeger (ABC-CLIO).

Media Review Invited

●       Byrd, M. (2017). The History of Human Resource Development by Gosney & Hughes, New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development

●       Byrd, M. (2013). The end of diversity as we know it by Martin Davidson. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 24(2), 269-275.  

Representative Honors and Awards Received

●       Recognized for Leadership, Academy of Human Resource Development

●       Member Spotlight, May, 2012, Academy of Human Resource Development

Major Professional Affiliations

●       Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD), Board of Directors (appointment 2017-2020)

●       Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)


●       Editor in Chief, Advances in Developing Human Resources journal (2018-2021)

o  Associate Editor, Advances in Developing Human Resources journal (2012-2018)

●       Editorial Board, Human Resource Development Quarterly

●       Editorial Board, Human Resource Development Review