profile of DoctorJonPaul

Illinois State University’s Multicultural Center will be hosting a series of interactive programs titled Safe(ish), beginning with the first session from noon-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 17, via Zoom. The sessions will be facilitated by Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins.

“We have moved away from SafeZone to Safe(ish) because we understand that while we can never promise an environment that is wholly safe from trauma, it is our goal to offer spaces of healing, exploration, and belonging,” said Kwame Patterson of the Multicultural Center.

Higgins, also known as DoctorJonPaul, is a professor, national speaker, freelance journalist, thought leader, and media critic who examines 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 sites like NBC News, Vox, VICE, MTV News, Essence, Out Magazine, TedX, and more.

They have worked on several inclusion projects with top brands like Apple, Disney and Instagram and currently teach about diversity and inclusion at the University of Redlands. They hold a doctorate in educational justice and often write and lecture about what liberation means for queer Black people and how we can help them not just survive, but thrive.

Safe(ish) is a 90-minute interactive program that helps individuals understand the personal narratives and experiences of gender expansive and LGBTQ+ individuals. The aim is to provide sustainable ways and inclusive strategies that acknowledge, affirm, and advocate for this marginalized group.

Subsequent sessions of Safe(ish) will be from noon-1:30 p.m. on December 3, February 18, March 18, and April 15. All sessions will be held virtually. To register for this event, participants can visit Redbird Life.