Keynote Speaker Negin Farsad
Open to the public
Negin Farsad is a comedian, writer, actor and director, and was named one of the fifty funniest women by the Huffington Post. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and Government from Cornell University and went on to get two different masters degrees from Columbia University. Her dual interest in performing arts and politics has lead to her successful career in Social Justice comedy. Her works include Bootleg Islam, an off-Broadway solo show about a boozy trip to the Islamic Republic of Iran, a two-person Edinburgh Fringe Festival musical The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Romantic Comedy, the stand up show The Dirty Immigrant Collective, and her most recent work the feature documentary The Muslims Are Coming! Her speech is titled “Fighting Islamophobia, Bigotry, and What Have You with Comedy” where she will tell anecdotes from the frontlines of prejudice AND a prescription for how to change the discourse. She brings real world activist comedy experience, a dash of comedy philosophy, and a touch of public policy for an engaging and definitely hilarious look at the issues.
Open to students
Aisha Fukushima is the founder of RAPtivism (Rap activism), a global hip hop project that spans 10 countries. She has worked with multiple rap activists from around the world including Dead Prez, KRS-One, Afrika Bambaataa, Jasiri X, Boots Riley, Oum, Amadou & Mariam, and Ursula Rucker. Aisha is multiracial: African American and Japanese, as well as multilingual. After traveling and performing around the world, she has since turned to focus on educating and empowering young people through the performing arts. She is a Whitman alumnae who majored in Rhetoric and Film Studies. She has helped build educational programs such as Turn Off The Stereotypes, SISTARZ, an all-girls hip hop club, and our very own Whitman Institute of Summer Enrichment.