Writer & Social Justice Educator Focused on Gender, Race & Media
Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins (DoctorJonPaul) is an educator, national speaker, freelance journalist, thought leader, and media critic who focuses on examining the intersections of identity, gender, and race in entertainment. Named Business Equality Magazine’s “Top 40 LGBTQ People Under 40”, their work has been featured on media outlets including Essence, Ebony, Complex, MTV NEWS, Out Magazine, BET & Paper Magazine. Dr. Higgins is a Culture Strike 2021 Disruptor, a 2021 IHeartRadio NextUp Fellow, and has been part of cohorts at Lambda Literary, Hillman Grad Productions, Maynard Institute and the Poynter Foundation. Dr. Higgins is a trailblazer who is sharing the stories their ancestors didn’t get to tell. Read More >
TEDx: From Fear to Freedom
A Lesson In Toxic Masculinity
Embracing Personal Power
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Dr. Jon did an amazing job at clearly and openly communicating their message of cultural humility. They brought just the right energy to our group and engaged with our attendees after the session. One thing that has stuck with me – whether Dr. Jon intended it to stick or if it was a passing comment – was when they stated something along the lines of “I present this way today, but it’s not how I might present tomorrow.” That sent me on some mental exploration of my own, thinking about how people choose to show up, how sometimes that choice may lead to consequences, or how that choice is even taken away. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed that personal takeaway from the session and I’m sure that so many of our attendees have personal takeaways of their own. It has been a true pleasure working with your entire team."
“Dr. Higgins was amazing, informative, intuitive and gave a powerful presentation which challenged the audience positively. His information, and presentation was riveting and gave people in the room the opportunity to see and understand new nuisances to the LGBTQIA+ experience that allowed them to break down biases and how to approach their thought patterns especially when it comes to how LGBTQIA+ persons are presented to them in media. In all it was an amazing experience. We are grateful to have him and hope to have him again in the future.”
"Dr. Jon Paul was amazing!!! They connected so well with our students! Their presentations were very much directed to the needs our students and campus have expressed. QTPOC students enjoyed dinner with Dr. Jon Paul and felt that many of their experiences were validated. They had a place to really be their true selves and to speak to someone who they could relate to."
"Jonathan Higgins graciously agreed to speak to my classes at the community college I have taught at for nearly a decade. My students were visibly moved by what he had to say, and many came to me to tell me he had changed how they saw themselves and others and thanked me profusely for inviting him. I would love to have him visit every semester."
"We were fortunate to have Dr. Higgins on campus for Lav Grad as a keynote speaker. What stood out to me in addition to his inspiring and empowering words was the way he worked with our team prior to his visit. When I've worked with some speakers in the past, they tend to treat staff members differently depending on title and position. Not Jonathan. He was responsive in his correspondence with me, our coordinator, and graduate student. It didn't matter who he was speaking with; his communication was consistent. From start to finish, working with Dr. Higgins was a positive experience and our students enjoyed his words and energy. I have since transitioned from my previous university setting, and I still refer colleagues to Jonathan for speaking and training needs."
"Dr. Jon Paul provides a uniquely vibrant, intersectional perspective; one rich with resilience and charged with a passionate depth that calls learners to seek what is beyond the surface of the common narratives of our world. Their work seeks to empower the forgotten, inspire the overlooked, and remind us all that the truest beauty of this world is found in the layers of our (often messy) human experience."
"I have attended a lot of events on diversity, community, and identity. Dr. Jon Paul's are one of the only events where I walked away with tangible ways to empower myself and improve my relationship to my communities."
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