The USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future is proud to once again partner with Bridge Entertainment Labs in pursuit of culture-shifting programs that help to bring greater unity within and among America's diverse communities. Join us on Tuesday June 4 at 1:00 PM PT for "What’s Making Us Laugh? What Role Does Comedy Play in Pulling Us Together – or Driving Us Apart?" with an amazing group of panelists.


Comedy can take many forms. Whether through TV shows, movies, stand-up routines, or improv, comedy has the unique power to impact how we see ourselves, others around us, and the society in which we live. As part of BEL’s “Creating New American Stories of Us” series, this virtual event will explore some of the ways comedy is showing up on screens, stages, and in communities across our country, sometimes serving to deepen our divides and further alienate Americans from each other, and sometimes doing just the opposite. Questions to be explored include:

- How can comedy humanize Americans to each other across social and political divides?

- What role does comedy play in shaping our country’s social norms?

- What are some of the innovative ways in which groups across America are harnessing the power of comedy to strengthen rather than divide communities?

- What role can humor, laughter, and comedy play in strengthening our democracy?

Confirmed participants:

CATY BORUM (Executive Director, Center for Media & Social Impact)

BLAKE PICKENS (Emmy Award Winning Comedian & Filmmaker)

ROB LONG (Writer & Producer, “Cheers”; Co-Founder, Ricochet)

PEDRO SILVA (Director of Engagement, YOUnify)

KARITH FOSTER (Founder and CEO of Inversity Solutions, Author “You Can Be Perfect or You Can Be Happy”)

TANE DANGER, BRANDON BOAT, TRYG THRONTVEIT (Creators of “Sketches of Minnesota")

KEVIN LINDSEY (CEO, Minnesota Humanities Center)

DR. DAVE CAPLAN, PhD - Writer & Executive Producer of ABC’s “The Conners”

ROB FELD (Filmmaker, Journalist)

LIBBY STEGER (Executive Director, Move for America)

STEVEN OLIKARA (President, Bridge Entertainment Labs)


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