"It’s About Being A Decent Human Being" | Karith Foster, Speaker and Comedian
Often the only person of color in her childhood classrooms, stand-up comedian Karith Foster spends a lot of her time speaking at universities such as Stanford and Oberlin about taboo subjects in a constructive way. She hates labels and the boxes they can put us in, which is why her take on diversity training actually focusses on “INversity” – meaning inclusion and introspection – mixed with a healthy dose of humor.
In this episode, Karith talks about what it was like to transform a hostile audience in a jam-packed hall at Oberlin into one welcoming of different perspectives. We also discuss her work as an on-air radio personality on the controversial Don Imus In the Morning show following his comments about the women’s basketball team at Rutgers University and her appearance in the documentary “Can We Take a Joke?,” which garnered support from strange bedfellows such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Charles Koch Institute.
Karith believes firmly that people from across the political spectrum have good ideas, and the fact that “just because you are not on that side does not mean you shouldn’t think it’s a good idea too” is “insanity.” Unsurprisingly, in Karith’s words, she often feels “like a political alien.” We hope she felt right at home here at Sanity!
Review: ‘Can We Take a Joke?’ The Answer Appears to Be Not Anymore, The New York Times, July 2016
Policing humor is not funny — keep the offensive comedy coming, The Chicago Tribune, September 2016
Comedians 'appalled' by humorless college students, Campus Reform, July 2016
Are Students Humorless, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 2016
The High Priest Of Heterodoxy, Tablet Magazine, July 2019
The art of defying stereotypes | Karith Foster | TEDxLincolnSquare, May 2017