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” in 2019, they have been featured on sites like NBC News, Buzzfeed, Vox, and Attn: and gave the first TEDx Talk on unlearned fear and reclaiming personal power in 2017. This led them to write their first op-ed piece for Splinter, which led them to write for other platforms including Out Magazine, Them, SyfyWire, The Root, The Daily Dot, Shadow & Act, Slate, Essence, MTV News and more.
Dr. Higgins is committed to using their voice to highlight and bring focus to the issues that affect both the Black and LGBTQ community. In September of 2016, they launched a YouTube channel where they post weekly videos about race and identity issues and began sharing pieces of their a mini-documentary highlighting stories related to their life as a queer Black non-binary person growing up in the inner city of San Bernardino. Their mini-documentary also covers their journey to receiving their doctoral degree.
They have spoken at multiple universities including Williams and Mary, James Madison University, Oneonta State, Northeastern, Louisville State University and the University of Oregon, just to name a few. They recently served as ACPA’s closing speaker for the 2018 national conference and continue to lecture at universities nationally.
They have consulted with large sized universities, including Purdue University, to restructure their Safe Zone program and continue to work with local organizations to educate others on the needs of queer, trans people of color. They work closely with Campus Pride as the Curriculum Instruction Coordinator and serves locally on the Inland Regional Equality Network.
Dr. Higgins was born in Los Angeles, California and graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies. They also hold a Masters of Arts in Management from the University of Redlands and were inducted into the Whitehead Leadership Society. In the past, they have also served in several prestigious writing fellowships including Lambda Literary, Maynard and The Poynter Institute.
Dr. Higgins completed their Educational Doctorate of Leadership in Justice from the University of Redlands where they wrote their dissertation on the first year experiences of queer men of color in higher education.
You can connect with them on all social media by using the handle, @DoctorJonPaul.