Oneya Okuwobi

Oneya Fennell Okuwobi is a Rice University Academy Junior Fellow. Her work incorporates the sociology of religion, race, and organizations to interrogate how diversity initiatives in religious and secular organizations affect racial inequality. Her research has appeared or is forthcoming in American Sociological Review, Sociology of Religion, and Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, among other outlets. Oneya received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Her dissertation, How Does it Feel to be a Commodity?: How Pastors, Professors, and Professionals Experience Diversity Ideology in Multiracial Organizations, was funded by the Louisville Institute and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. In it, she investigates organizational diversity policies and discourses, then extends their effects down to the people who are the object of them. She finds that diversity programs lead organizations to commodify the presence of employees of color. As a result, activities around diversity become constitutive of experiences of marginalization rather than ameliorative. This study contributes to an emerging focus on the intersection between organizational and race theory by revealing hidden causes of stratification.