Tonya Cherie Hegamin Portrait
Tonya C. Hegamin has worked with organizations like Women Against Rape, Police Athletic League and Planned Parenthood since 1998. Her experience as a counselor, court advocate and community educator stems from her personal journey as a bisexual and (dis)abled woman of color. In 2002, Hegamin attended the New School University’s Creative Writing MFA program, where she organized and facilitated a Celebration of Multicultural Children’s Literature and became the first graduate of the Children’s Literature concentration to sign two book contracts in their second semester. 

Hegamin’s authorship is focused on cultural history, inclusion, (dis)ablity, LGBTQIA+ and womanist perspectives. Her books have won awards, reviews and recognition from The New York Public Library, The Christopher Award Foundation, Publisher’s Weekly, The Washington Post and Essence Magazine. Currently, Tonya is an Assistant Professor at CUNY’s Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY and she is the Diversity and Inclusion Section Editor for the Journal Creative Writing Studies; she has spoken internationally about integrating diversity and inclusivity into teaching, working and creative practices. She holds a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion Education and Training from Cornell University Institute of Labor Relations.

Tonya is a Type 1 Diabetes advocate and works with a service dog named Bobo.