Sharon Wamble-King, Ph.D. is a 2023 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Sharon Wamble-King dissertation committee

Sharon Wamble-King at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Donna Ladkin, Committee Chair, Dr. Chellie Spiller, Committee Member, Dr. Philomena Essed, Committee Member.

Dissertation Committee

  • Donna Ladkin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Philomena Essed, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Chellie Spiller, Ph.D., Committee Member


Leadership, African American women, decolonizing, spirituality, worldview, Afrocentricity, Africology, embodiment, symbolic imagery, Nommo, Ubuntu

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There is a paucity of theorizing concerning leadership enactments performed by African American women. The performances have been marginalized and obscured within the Western leadership canon as they fall outside its epistemological boundaries; they have also been sidelined within Critical Leadership Studies. This study employed Afrocentricity as a decolonizing paradigm and Africology as the research methodology to describe and define a leadership phenomenon enacted by African American women. Setting aside Western conceptions of leadership, focus groups of African American women examined video excerpts of Africana women’s oral performances through an Africological lens. Participants’ Afrocentric-oriented perceptions sparked collective storytelling and Meaning-Making regarding their lived experiences of African American women who mobilize and energize others employing spiritually-anchored, embodied, affective approaches to engagement. Centering the African American women’s culturally distinct ways of being, knowing, and doing, the participants’ collective narratives were used to identify the four elements of the leadership phenomenon which included: spirituality, knowing, orality, and embodiment. A framework emerged from the data reflecting the interconnected, interrelated, interdependent, Afro-circular dynamism of the enactment’s elements and their characteristics; it served as the foundational architecture upon which to construct a theory of Empowered Presence, a culturally-distinct, spiritually-anchored, holistically-embodied performance of galvanizing, mobilizing, and engaging others within the collective. This study not only expands Western leadership theorizing but provides the groundwork for Afrocentric researchers to enhance decolonizing approaches to investigate African American women’s leadership within a Africological methodological framework. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


Sharon Wamble-King

Sharon Wamble-King

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0001-8500-9781

Sharon Wamble-King, a native of Berkeley, California, is a management consultant who possesses decades of executive leadership experience in corporate, consulting, and not-for-profit settings across the healthcare, biotech, retail, energy, entertainment, and manufacturing industry sectors. As a change leadership and organizational communication strategist, she has provided leadership development, coaching and organizational effectiveness solutions to a range of clients. Additionally, she led diverse teams of staff and consultants who implemented communication and change and communication strategies spanning merger & acquisitions, divestures, executive, board, employee, multicultural, sales, and brand communication, crisis, disaster, and reputation management. Sharon has served in Board leadership roles in higher education, youth development, public broadcasting, organizational communication, cultural tourism, and arts, entertainment and recreation sectors. Her scholarship was focused on decolonized examinations of culturally-distinct ways that African American women engage, mobilize, and galvanize moored in the traditional African worldview and intergenerationally transmitted through socialization and communal generativity. Sharon holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication Arts and Sociology from the University of the Pacific, a Master of Science in Mass Communication from California State University, and Master of Arts and PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University. Sharon is married with three bonus children and six grandchildren; she loves jazz, theatre, comedy, travel, reading, and serving in her church and community.