#BlackSexEdHistory Spotlight: James Wadley

jamesJames C. Wadley, Ph.D., L.P.C. (PA & NJ), ACS  (Founder/Editor)                                                       

Dr. James Wadley is Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Human Services program at The Lincoln University. As a scholar-practitioner, he is a licensed professional counselor and maintains a private practice in the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is the founding editor of the scholarly, interdisciplinary journal, the Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships (University of Nebraska Press).  His academic and professional background in human sexuality education and educational leadership has enabled him to galvanize scholars and practitioners in the field of sexology across the world. His research and publication interests include sexual decision making among young adults, masculinity development and conceptions of fatherhood by non-custodial fathers, and HIV/AIDS prevention.  He has written undergraduate and graduate courses and recently authored twenty-two courses for the Master of Science in Counseling program for The Lincoln University (PA).  He has spoken around the world about intimacy enhancement, sexual identity and orientation, anger management and conflict negotiation, contemporary issues around sexuality diversity and race, and has written for several popular media outlets about relational formation, maintenance, and longevity. Dr. Wadley received his Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in Educational Leadership and Human Sexuality Education. He has a Master of Science in Education degree in School Psychology from the University of Kentucky. Finally, he holds a clinical postgraduate certificate from Thomas Jefferson University/Council for Relationships in Philadelphia and several other state certifications that enable him to be one of the nation’s best marriage, family, and sexuality clinicians.

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Read our interview with James Wadley on what the ABSC is up to and how you can get involved:

Thank you, James for taking time out to talk with me. I know you have many interesting projects going on with The Association of Black Sexologist and Clinicians (ABSC) and, congratulations on your 1st conference in Philadelphia, which I had the pleasure of attending! The turnout was amazing and the workshops were so interesting! I honestly can’t wait to hear what you and ABSC are up to, so let’s get started!

So just for a framework, could you tell us what got you started in your career of sex education?

I attended undergrad at Hampton University in Virginia and had to complete a senior research project.  I always wanted to work with children and so my professor suggested to me that I look at the research on children’s toy choices, how masculinity/femininity are developed, and various components of gender identity.  From there, I went to the University of Kentucky and pursued a master’s degree in School Psychology.  UK wanted me to work for a year before pursuing a doctorate but I wanted to continue my studies.  I received a brochure from the Human Sexuality in Education program at UPenn and I thought to myself, “That is where I need to be!”  My time at UPenn was extraordinary in that my friends/colleagues were from different backgrounds, had different interests, and so my time there and afterwards in the field of sexuality has continued to be transformative.

Why focus on Black Sexologist and Clinicians?

This moment just seems like the right time to try to create opportunities for a group of folks who have been traditionally invisible in the research and clinical literature as well as national sexology organizations.  The social justice movement over the past few years has enabled new dialogue about privilege, power, entitlements, and access.  The Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians merely emerged out of a need to highlight the research, clinical interest, and pedagogy of persons of African descent and actively address intersectionality.

I can imagine this opens up many opportunities for Black men and women in the field. How can someone get more involved with ABSC?

Not only have we been able to open up opportunities for Black men and women, we have also opened up opportunities for allies who have an interest in working with this unique population.  We have a FREE membership to ANYONE and invite EVERYONE to our national events

Was there ever a time you felt discouraged in your work or founding your organization, and if so how did you overcome that?

I am blessed to have wonderful people who have come before me, work with me, and who will come after me to do this important work.  For the brief moments that I may have been discouraged, there was always somewhere there cheering me/us on.  I have wonderful colleagues and people who I have never made contact with who have supported this movement.

 So from what I hear, 2016 is the year of traveling for ABSC, huh? You have events in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, U.S. Virgin Islands, AND in Kigali, Rwanda!! This is all must be so exciting!

We are so excited about all of our initiatives and we are preparing for 2017 where we will have our national conference in New Orleans.

I LOVE NOLA! You’ll definitely have a blast! So, it looks like St. Thomas of the U.S Virgin Islands is your first stop in the ABSC tour and you’ll be there for your 2016 Roundtable Series. Tell us a little more about that.

What will be unique about our Roundtable Series is that we will have an opportunity to further dialogue about sexuality and sensitive issues that affect persons of African descent.  Our mini-conference is on April 25 and 26, 2016 and for the rest of the week, we will enjoy the cultural explosion of Carnival in St. Thomas!  We have received over 30 proposals and can’t wait to dialogue, enjoy the sunshine, the beach, and festive atmosphere of St. Thomas!

So are currently accepting proposals for this event?

Yes…but we are almost out of presentation space and our hotel block is almost completely filled.  If people have an interest in presenting, they should submit their proposal right away, here!

What are you looking for in incoming proposals, and when does registration open?


Here is the description for proposals:

Black Americana is anything and everything that has to do with Black culture, relationships, identity, social resilience and activism. It is the Trans historical driving force that enables individual and systemic movement as well as highlights the continuum of prevention and responsiveness. Black Americana is about how you think, feel, and respond to conceptual and pragmatic challenges using racial/ethnic identity as a primary lens. It is the recognition of the collective need to paint broad strokes and then offer viable solutions to empower the communities we serve. Black Americana was always, and will always, be about YOU!! The Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians Roundtable Series involve critical discussion and feedback about black relationships and sexuality. Scholarly discussions may emerge from psychology, religion, education, sociology, history, philosophy, human services, and communication. The information must be relevant and helpful to a mixed conference audience comprised of health scholars and clinicians. The roundtable forum will allow each participant to give an academic presentation and receive feedback from conference participants. We also welcome submissions that address intersectionality of other cultures. You and up to four (4) of your colleagues will give a 30 minute academic talk about your research or clinical work, followed by a facilitated 20 minute discussion on the work presented. The goal of the Roundtable Series is to have panel discussions that examine the continuum of sex and relationship research and expression. We also encourage submission individual presentation proposals but panel discussions will be given first consideration.

Well, that definitely sounds like an amazing time, with amazing weather I might add! But soon after that in July you’ll be in Rwanda!! That’s unbelievable! The event is the 2016 ABSC and GEI (Global Engagement Institute) Pan African Summit on Sexual Wellness, Decolonization, and Indigenous Knowledge. This is so fascinating! Please tell us more about this partnership with the Global Engagement Institute and the summit!

Last year, I was chosen by the National Board of Certified Counselors and the Global Engagement Institute to do genocide and trauma training with Rwanda therapists in Kigali, Rwanda.  When I was there, it was a transformative experience because all of the crap that I learned about Africa growing up and watching television wasn’t true.  Africa (in this case Rwanda) was so beautiful and the people were so nice.  When I returned, I HAD to try to put something to together and invite members of the ABSC to go to Rwanda and have an international experience where there could be a scholarly/intellectual exchange with our African brothers and sisters.

I know I’m excited about this event, and I know others are too! How can people get more involved? Are you accepting proposals or exhibitors?

YES!  We are accepting proposals, exhibitors, and sponsorship opportunities for all three events! And registration is

I can only imagine how you must feel. And yet ABSC isn’t done yet! You’ll be in Ft. Lauderdale September 29th– October 1st for Black Families, Black Relationships and Black Sexuality II, “a conference for scholarship, best practices and pedagogy”. Can you tell us more about that?

This will be the second annual conference for our organization.  The theme “Engaging in Transformational and Emancipatory Dialogue for Meaningful Solutions” acknowledges the historic invisibility, misrepresentation, and underrepresentation of black voices in sexology and sexuality studies.  It seems important that a space be created so that we can continue to illuminate the continuum of individual, couple, and familial experiences of persons of African descent.

Very cool. The ABSC is doing so much this year, how can people stay up to date with all your events or organization announcements?

Visit our website for more information.

Well, thank you again James for taking the time out to talk to me. It has been a real pleasure. And best of luck this year in all your travels! I can’t wait to see what the ABSC does next!