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Dr. Jonathan Paul Higgins

Dr. Jonathan Paul Higgins

Writer & Social Justice Educator Focused on Gender, Race & Media


Dr. Higgins is a speaker, writer, and social justice educator who focuses on issues related to gender, race, and media. Named Business Equality Magazine’s “Top 40 LGBTQ Under 40” for 2020, they have written for numerous media outlets including Complex Magazine, Out Magazine, Them, Essence, The Root, Blavity, MTV News and more. They have also been featured on sites like NBC News, Buzzfeed, Vox, and Attn:. Read More >

Raised in San Bernardino, CA, Dr. Higgins is committed to using their voice to highlight and bring focus to the issues that affect both the Black and LGBTQ communities at both a local and national level. As a graduate from California State University, San Bernardino with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies and a graduate from University of Redlands with both a Masters of Arts in Management and Doctorate in Educational Leadership, they aspire to be an example to those who seek to change the way we discuss the Black, queer experience. 

Dr. Higgins is committed to not only being a voice for marginalized people, but more -- an inspiration. Since 2015 the have traveled to colleges and universities where they have provide both keynotes and trainings about how to better serve marginalized students. They have also worked with schools including Purdue University and Clayton State University to help restructure their Safe Zone program, and corporations including Instagram, Twitter, the NFL, Disney and Apple on equity and inclusion initiatives.

In 2017, they gave their first TEDx talk on unlearning fear and reclaiming personal power, which has been viewed over 4,000 times. They have since written over 100 articles about the Black, queer experience and published several chapters in books including, The Other F Word: A Celebration of the Fat & Fierce and Queer People of Color in Higher Education. Dr. Higgins has been in writing journalism fellowship cohorts including Lambda Literary, Maynard and The Poynter Institute and currently studies comedy television writing as a fellow in Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Program.

Dr. Higgins is a current instructor at University of Redlands and New York Film Academy, where they teach research and representation in television/film. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDx: From Fear to Freedom

A Lesson In Toxic Masculinity

Embracing Personal Power


Speech Topics

The Power of Unlearning: The System is Invisible on Purpose

In this discussion, we will look at concepts that are related to the working and teachings of Peggy McIntosh. We will examine the our own “knapsacks”, what we carry with us on a daily basis. We will also discuss what it means for marginalized individuals to carry a heavier backpack and what it means for the collective team to work collaboratively to lessen these weights.

All Oppression is Connected

In this discussion, we will look at vocabulary and the ways in which oppression can be defined. This conversation will focus on concepts of gender, race, class, and sexual orientation while highlighting the oppression that overlaps between each of the identities. The focus will be to highlight the work of Kimberlé Crenshaw and her thoughts on intersectionality as it refers to marginalized people and the oppressions that live between each of their identities.

Adding Equity to Our Equality

The terms equity and equality are often used interchangeably. For most, while it is important to be treated fairly, many are vying for proportional representation. In this presentation, we will examine the ways in which equality and equity differ and the importance of implementing practices rooted in equity.

From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Putting Things in Motion

While there is no silver bullet strategy to add equity to an organization, steps need to be taken in order to change the ways in which we think about belonging. In this discussion, we will dive into what it means to design a culture where there is belonging and what it means to create moments to both understand and comprehend another’s life experience.