Mea Ashley, Ph.D. is a 2022 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Mea Ashley at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Mitch Kusy, Committee Chair, Dr. Harriet L. Schwartz, Committee Member, Dr. Walter Kimbrough, Committee Member.

Dissertation Committee

  • Mitch Kusy, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Harriet L. Schwartz, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Walter Kimbrough, Ph.D., Committee Member


religion, Christianity, Black Greek-letter organizations, BGLO, sorority, fraternity, denounce, thematic analysis, YouTube, testimonials, confessions, renounce, idolatry, blasphemy, organization membership

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Today, Black Greek-letter organizations (BGLOs) struggle to use empirical data to address financial burden, elitism, hazing, relevance in social justice issues, and the anti-BGLO movement. The anti-BGLO movement frames this study. The movement stems from beliefs that secret societies, fraternities, and sororities are anti-Christian. Society will continue to question the relevance and importance of BGLOs if they cannot overcome the issues plaguing them. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to ascertain why members are leaving BGLOs, in case the organizations find the anti-BGLO movement to be a threat to organizational vitality. Through thematic analysis, 18 YouTube testimonials from denouncers were investigated to answer the research question: What are the most significant reasons ex-BGLO members say they denounce their organizations? The dataset produced 12 themes, scriptural evidence to support the speakers’ decisions, and a narrative overview of their journey. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


Mea Ashley

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0003-4124-6958

A native of Jackson, MS, Mea Ashley has built her professional foundation on nearly ten years of higher education administration at two of Mississippi’s public universities. Transitioning from institutional advancement to student affairs, she currently serves as the Director of Student Life at Mississippi University for Women. From equipping students with skills to compete globally to creating the next generation’s change agents, this role includes wearing many hats. But Mea believes cultivating leaders is most rewarding. She’s recently advanced into thought-leading on diversity, equity, and inclusion work for the campus, serving on various councils and committees.

Mea’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in journalism from Jackson State University and Columbia University in New York. Her proudest journalistic pieces are the first exclusive profile on Korey Wise of the Exonerated Five and a documentary on natural beauty and self-esteem called #nakedissexy. Her research interests include organizational alignment, and her dissertation analyzes religion in Black Greek-letter organizations.

Her daily interactions with college students and her contributions through church and service organizations fuel her purpose to inspire. Mea is super family-oriented and cringes at the thought of going a week without face-timing her niece and nephew. In her spare time, she enjoys watching, reading, or listening to anything about Black culture or love and relationships. You can always count on her to show up with her top five VIA character strengths: spirituality, judgment, honesty, love, and hope.