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Yolandé Aileen Ifalami Devoe, Ph.D. is a 2020 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dr. Yolandé Aileen Ifalami Devoe at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Jameta N. Barlow, Committee Member, Dr. Philomena Essed Committee Chair, Dr. Elizabeth Holloway, Committee Member

Dissertation Committee

  • Philomena Essed, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Jameta N. Barlow, Ph.D., Committee Member


Womanism, Narrative Photovoice, Poetic Inquiry, African American Women, Intersectionality, Racism, Body Experiences, Beauty Standards, Liberation, Sister Circles, Healing, Agency

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Whether it is claiming a radical self-love for one’s body or dissatisfaction of one’s body, the experiences of African American women and their bodies cannot be divergent from the sociocultural contexts in which they live. Seeking to reveal how gender, race, and sexual orientation impact the lived experiences of African American women and their bodies, this study will bring attention to and provide a more nuanced understanding of the historical and sociocultural ramifications of the Black female body. Historically, inadequate attention has been given to an intersectional approach to understanding the experiences of the Black female body. It is understood that Black women are a marginalized population. This marginalization is rooted in race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and class. What influence do these interlocking oppressive forces have on the way African American women live and view their bodies? Utilizing a participatory research model, participants chronicled their experiences with their bodies in pictures and words through interviews, narratives, and photographs. Addressing body image from an intersectional approach, this research adds to existing literature and gives womanist breadth and depth to this discussion of body experience framed within the sociocultural context. The women, “sisters,” in this study shared stories of liberation, healing and resistance challenging assumptions of Black womanhood. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


Yolandé Aileen Ifalami Devoe

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0002-2230-8140

Yolandé “Falami” Devoe is a womanist scholar, arts- based educator with interdisciplinary interests at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnography, and pedagogy. She is passionate about the voices of Black women and how critical these voices are in creating new narratives and sustainable practices of healing, liberation and well-being. As an activist, scholar, practitioner, Dr. Falami integrates mindfulness, art, poetry, storytelling and photography in her courses and presentations. A certified Holistic Wellness coach, Dr. Falami considers herself a Body Liberation Coach. She creates and curates spaces for Black women to express themselves authentically and to help make meaning of their lived experiences of their bodies.

Dr. Falami has presented at the National Women Studies Conference, National Council of Black Studies bringing attention to the Photovoice methodology as an affirming and culturally relevant methodological approach that fosters a legacy of stories and experiences via pictures and words for marginalized communities.

She received her PhD from the Graduate School of Leadership and Change from Antioch University and her M.A. in Leadership and Change and M.A. in Educational Leadership from Antioch University and a B.A. from Hampton University. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Connect with Dr. Y. Falami Devoe @ LinkedIn-