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Dr. Jonathan Paul Higgins

Dr. Jonathan Paul Higgins

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

Dr. Jonathan Paul Higgins

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


Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins (DoctorJonPaul) is an award winning educator, professor, national speaker, freelance journalist, thought leader and media critic who examines the intersections of identity, gender and race in entertainment. Named National Black Justice Coalition’s Inaugural Emerging Leaders to Watch and Business Equality Magazine’s “Top 40 LGBTQ People Under 40”, their work has been featured on sites like Essence, Ebony, Complex, MTV NEWS, Out Magazine, BET & Entertainment Weekly. A Culture Strike 2021 Disruptor, Black Boy/Girl Writes Fellow and Twitter Spaces Spark Creator, DoctorJonPaul is trailblazer who is creating, sharing, and crafting the stories their ancestors didn’t get to tell.

Dr. Higgins is currently the inaugural Director of Strategic Media & Advocacy for Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance and has held positions at both Chernin Entertainment & Edith Productions. They have consulted with multiple brands on inclusion projects including United Artists, Amazon Prime, Fox, the NFL, Apple, Disney, Instagram, Buzzfeed, G.L.A.A.D. and most recently, Ulta Beauty.

They have also been a featured speaker for South by Southwest (SXSW) & TEDx and most recently was the first Black queer person to be a featured speaker at ForbesBLK. You can also see them on hit shows like Netflix’s Nailed It and Fuse’s Like a Girl.

They are the creator, executive producer and host of the “Black Fat Femme Podcast'' which was developed via IHeartMedia’s Next Up Initiative in 2021. The podcast has gone on to be named one of the “top Black podcasts to listen to” by both Ebony and Pride Magazine and being named both a Webby Honoree, along with a Shorty nomination for best talk/interview podcast. Currently, they are working on their first book, Black Fat Femme: How to Love Yourself by Unveiling the Power of Visibly Queer Voices, acquired by Wiley Global and slated for release in April of 2025.

DoctorJonPaul holds a Doctorate of Educational Leadership in Social Justice from University of Redlands, being named as a distinguished recipient of the School of Education Centennial Excellence Award. They continue to write and lecture regularly on what liberation means for Black, fat, queer and non-binary individuals and what folks can do to better show up for those who are often left at the margins in media and education.

Speaker Videos

Day 1: Keynote: Dr. John Paul Higgins

TEDx: From Fear to Freedom


April 2023 Conversations About Health Equity featuring Dr. Jon Paul Higgins and Grayson Schultz

#2.9 Dr. Jon P Higgins on Joy

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.