Inclusivity & Creativity Expert • Award-Winning Author • Patient Advocate • Artist •
Tonya is a Type 1 Diabetic with a medical alert service dog, Rambo.
She has worked with organizations like Women Against Rape, Police Athletic League and Planned Parenthood since 1998. Her experience as a patient and victim advocate and community educator stems from her personal journey as a queer and chronically ill woman of color. Her advocacy focuses on medical bias and seeking legal accommodations in higher education and work settings. She also supports patients and medical professionals suffering from social stigmas of health through the lens of Narrative Medicine. Hegamin attended the New School University’s Creative Writing MFA program, and she holds a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion Education and Training from Cornell University Institute of Labor Relations. Tonya’s novels, short stories and poetry focus on cultural history, inclusion,(dis)ablity, LGBTQIA+, body positivity and womanist perspectives. She has won awards, reviews and recognition from The New York Public Library, The Christopher Award Foundation, Fortune Magazine, The Washington Post and Essence Magazine. Currently, Tonya is a tenured Associate Professor at CUNY’s Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY. She has spoken internationally about integrating compassion into healthcare, creativity, teaching, and leadership.
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In this unique experience, children and teens will work one-on-one with local award winning author, tenured professor, artist, and activist Tonya Hegamin. Through the power of art and literature, learners will strengthen their critical thinking skills while developing deeper compassion for themselves and others.
Put empathy into action.
Making vulnerability your superpower.
Patient advocacy for transforming healthcare systems.
Maximize your team's strength by decolonizing hierarchies in the workplace.
Finding compassionate communication in problem-solving.
Claim peace through workplace boundaries.
Access narrative power and create change through storytelling.
Balancing Business Needs With Workplace Accommodations: Becoming A Compassionate Leader
"How do you make yourself heard when you’ve been silenced, ignored, or had your concerns diminished?"
“Tonya’s presentation style is engaging, supportive, and candid. As a motivational speaker, she works to further the group’s understanding and awareness. Our attendees found the presentation to be a great blend of thought-provoking and enjoyable. Leading up to her presentation, Tonya was responsive and a pleasure to work with.”
“Generative creativity, radical inclusivity, holistic inquiry: these are the hallmarks of Tonya C. Hegamin’s practice. Collaborating with her as a writing coach opened new corridors of thought within my writing and worldview. Tonya’s insight and guidance transformed my pedagogy and praxis, helping me nurture my creative attunement for my students along the way.”
"Without a doubt, Tonya is one of my role models and mentors. She has honestly and openly shared her expertise. There is no doubt in my mind and spirit that I could have completed my first historical fiction novel without Tonya's professional writing coach support. Her humor, brilliance, and compassion are three outstanding components to how she creates safe spaces for everyone she works with."