KUER, RadioWest, and United Way of Salt Lake present “The Realities of Diversity,” a three-part speaker series that takes a deeper look at race and diversity in America.
The September speaker is social justice comedian and writer Negin Farad. Negin Farsad is at the forefront of social justice comedy—a field that she insists totally exists (or should). A TED Senior Fellow, author of How to Make White People Laugh, and as one of few Iranian-American Muslim female comedian/filmmakers, Farsad uses humor—full-scale ridiculously—to bridge the racial, religious, social, and immigrant gap. The Wall Street Journal calls her work “smart, funny, and fascinating.” For Negin Farsad, the social justice thing didn’t come out of the blue. She has a dual Masters in African American Studies and Public Policy from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs, and used to work as a policy advisor for the city of New York but left that for a strange life in the arts. She has appeared on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show, A&E’s Black & White, and variously on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. Farsad has written and developed series for MTV, PBS, and Nickelodeon. She wrote, directed, and starred in the 2016 feature release 3rd Street Blackout—a rom-com set in the blackout after Hurricane Sandy and featuring Ed Weeks from The Mindy Project, Janeane Garofalo, and John Hodgman. She also wrote, directed, and produced Nerdcore Rising, a comedy about nerdcore hip-hop that Wired called “honest and heartfelt,” and which has been an official selection of festivals worldwide, earning Best Film, Best Director, and Audience Favorite awards. RadioWest’s Doug Fabrizio will interview each speaker about their work related to race and diversity, followed by a 30 minute audience Q&A. Interviews will air on RadioWest at a later date.