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“Can We Laugh Together? The Role of Humour in Building Inclusive Connections” with Ky Sargeant

April 3 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


In the world of EDI, we are often acutely aware of how humour and laughter can become forms of marginalization. We talk a lot about the microaggression experience of having “jokes” told at your expense or having your experience be represented through dismissive or reductive stereotypes. When we think about creating inclusive and psychologically safe environments, the literature around EDI often centers on feelings of safety & respect in terms of an absence of negative experiences.

However, there also are few things that can connect a group of people together better than a good laugh, and rarely do we flip the script to view the ways that humour and laughter can be a grounding experience of connection within a diverse group. Despite the stigma that laughter is often “unprofessional” or not appropriate in serious conversations, as a stand-up comedian and an EDI practitioner, Ky Sargeant has found that the most meaningful moments of learning facilitated in her career, have come from the moments when a room lets down their guard to share a moment of joy.

In this talk, it will explore:

  • What exactly is a “joke” and why can they hurt or help connection so effectively?
  • How humour is a tool available to everyone, not just for those deemed as “funny”
  • The parallel between comedy and education in asking the listener to consider new information


April 3
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
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UBC Library
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