Assistant Professor, Black Studies
Founder, William Payne Innovation Lab
Dr. Terrance Dean, founder of the William Payne Innovation Lab, received his PhD in Religion and African American Diaspora Studies from Vanderbilt University in June 2019. His research interests include gender, sex, sexuality, Black religion and Homiletics, rhetoric and communication, African Diaspora, Black Cultural Studies, James Baldwin, and Afrofuturism. In 2005, Dean was a John Seigenthaler Journalism Fellow from Vanderbilt University, and in 2014 he earned his Master’s in Theology from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Dean is a professor in Black Studies at Denison University. He is a Tutu Desk Brand Ambassador for the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Foundation, and he also serves on the editorial board for The Columbus Dispatch helping to bring awareness and visibility to marginalized groups of people, particularly people of color.
He is the author of the Essence Magazine best-seller Hiding In Hip Hop - On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry from Music to Hollywood (Simon & Schuster/Atria Books - May 2008). He is also the author of Reclaim Your Power! A 30-Day Guide to Hope, Healing and Inspiration for Men of Color (Random House/Villard - May 2003); Straight From Your Gay Best Friend – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Love, and Having A Fabulous Life (Agate – October 2010); Visible Lives: Three Stories in Tribute to E. Lynn Harris, (Kensington – May 2010). In 2011, Dean made his fiction debut with his novel, MOGUL (Simon & Schuster/Atria Books – June 2011).
Dean has worked in the entertainment industry for over 15 years with heavy hitters such as Spike Lee, Rob Reiner, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and Anjelica Houston. He has worked with television and film production companies such as B.E.T., Savoy Television, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Sony Pictures. Dean also worked with MTV Networks for several years helping to produce live award shows and events including MTV Video Music Awards, Movie Awards, Hip Hop Honors, Rock Honors, Sports & Music Festival, and Choose or Lose.
Dean’s lecturing and workshops have been featured at noted institutions such as Brown University, Ohio University, The Ohio State University, Syracuse University, Rutgers University, Long Island University, and New York University.
He is a contributing writer to the anthologies, Souls of My Brothers and Always Too Soon. He has been featured in Newsweek, Time magazine, New York Magazine, The Observer UK, Genre, VIBE, Hip Hop Weekly, Toronto NOW, AOL Black Voices, Sister2Sister, and Essence magazine. He has also appeared across the country, and internationally, on popular syndicated radio shows – NPR, The BBC, Russ Par, The Michael Eric Dyson Show, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and The Wendy Williams Experience. He has made national television appearances on Fox’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, and Fox’s Red Eye, CNN’s Headline News, NBC 10 Philadelphia, ABC 6 Philadelphia, WB 11 New York, and FOX 2 in Detroit. He has also written for The Columbus Dispatch, VIBE, ESSENCE, Hello Beautiful, XXL, JUICY, Huffington Post, The Advocate, The New York Sun, The Tennessean, Fatherhood Today, and The Michigan Chronicle’s Front Page.