COMMLD 551: The Laws and Ethics of Organizations

Course Description

All organizations — private, public and nonprofit — inevitably encounter legal and ethical challenges when building and engaging with their communities and networks. Leaders must be able to identify, anticipate, and problem solve how to legally and ethically create, grow, and maintain organizations. This course considers and juxtaposes the legal and ethical realities of community building through a cross-sector approach, particularly by utilizing racial equity and anti-oppression frameworks and grounding in behavioral ethics (decision-making and heuristics). We will survey a wide array of case studies, many with a social justice backdrop, in which law and ethics may overlap, conflict, or contain gaps. We will engage in simulations, real-world scenarios and games to maximize understanding of the impact of law and ethics on organizational communications to clients, customers and constituencies. Throughout the course, you are encouraged to bring in legal and ethical issues from your professional experiences to enrich discussion of course topics. No prior experience in law is required.