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Doctor Jon Paul Speaks Truth to Power and Centers His Activist Spirit



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by dr. Saby Labor in Audio, Blog, Resources
August 21, 2017 0 comments

Doctor Jon Paul Higgins shares so many brilliant insights about the impact he is having on higher education through on-campus efforts and social media channels. Through his brand, Doctor Jon Paul, he speaks to his viewpoints of education as a gateway to freedom, especially for marginalized communities, and the power accorded as a queer person of color with a doctoral degree. He speaks truth to power and frames his work through the understanding that “safety never saved anybody” in this work and elaborates on how this shows up when speaking to white supremacy, oppression, and racism on campuses.

DoctorJonPaul is a writer, speaker, and social media curator. He has been featured on site like TheRoot, Blavity and most recently, Efniks. He has worked with Attn.com on topics related to the experiences of Queer/Trans People of Color and led a TEDx in April on the topic of moving oneself from fear to freedom.

Find out more about Doctor Jon Paul’s work at http://www.doctorjonpaul.com.

Read Full Transcript

Show Highlights:

  • How does “speaking truth to power” frame his work in college inclusion? 01:14
  • Salient identities as black, queer, and being raised poor shape his experiences 3:31
  • His strategies to use social media to make an impact 06:13
  • How does “reaching back as I climb” resonate with his daily efforts 06:34
  • Hear more about the current work he is engaging in 09:33
  • Elaborates on how “the bad is already here” and what this means for QTPOC students 11:13
  • Tells us more about how he arrived to this work 12:30
  • His observations as a queer person of color with a doctoral degree 16:06
  • What does education mean to marginalized people? 20:25
  • Shares a podcast and two books to add to your personal and professional development plan 21:24
  • What are the biggest professional lessons he has learned? 25:02
  • Shares a piece of guidance to college inclusion professionals about burning out 27:52

Notable Quotes:

  • “This whole notion of reaching back as I climb is reminding folks that they are capable of doing the same thing that I’m doing and I’m there to support them as they do it.” 06:35

  • “How I’ve arrived to Doctor Jon Paul is by acknowledging and becoming comfortable with the idea that safety never saved anybody…If we continue to keep talking about things in a safe context, that at the end of the day, you never get to the root of what the problem is.” 14:19
  • “I believe down to the core of my spirit that higher education was not built for me.” 17:15
  • “I am at a place in my life where I’m saying to myself, ‘Does a check to feed me mean more to me than me walking away from my job each day fed?’” “26:04
  • Inspirational quote by Jenicette Gutierrez “I will continue to always seek my truth and always challenge power.” 33:03

Links Mentioned:

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