Dearest Reader, Welcome to Loving Spoonful! My intention is for this to be a stimulating, (tough) love-laced newsletter exploring current events or current trends in our global culture. Before I get into that, I want to introduce myself and what brings me to you. I’m Agunda, no nickname so use it or lose me. I’m a writer, producer and alchemist with a passion for social good. When I sat down to pen my first love newsletter to you, I was thinking what do the fine people of earth wish to or need to hear right now? I suppose what comes to mind is that we are living through history in a way that breaks from the past in that the rate of change is exponential, confrontational and frankly kind of unfocused.
WMC Feature: What’s at Stake for Women of Color in the Hollywood Strikes
The Progressive OpEd: Why Karens Are a Threat to Racial Progress
I have white women in my life whom I like and love but, for some white women, a predatory element lingers just under the surface of their smiling faces. Because in many ways, white womanhood is the secret weapon in the perpetuation of white supremacy: When a white woman feels “unsafe”—particularly in situations that involve a Black woman conscious of an injustice or a Black male simply existing—whatever solution that follows cannot be questioned.
CBS This Morning -- "We, As Ourselves": Changing the dialogue around Black sexual assault survivors
me too. International, the Time's Up Foundation and the National Women's Law Center are partnering to launch a new campaign aimed at changing the conversation around sexual violence within the Black community. "me too." founder and executive director Tarana Burke and actress Jurnee Smollett join "CBS This Morning" to announce the "We, As Ourselves" initiative.
We As Ourselves: A Love Letter to Black Survivors
The Love Letter to Black Survivors is the centerpiece of the We, As Ourselves initiative — a collaboration powered by ‘me too.’ International., National Women’s Law Center, and TIME’S UP Foundation to reshape the narrative around sexual violence and its impact on Black survivors. With the script written by 'me too.' International. founder, Tarana Burke, the Love Letter to Black Survivors video is a compilation of activists, actors, influencers, survivors, and political leaders as a call-to-action to center the voices and experiences of Black survivors and to create the cultural conditions for Black survivors to be heard and supported.
THR: 2019 Tribeca Jurors: Aaron Rodgers, Angela Bassett, Sheila Nevins Among Jurors ft. producer Agunda Okeyo
The Tribeca Film Festival 2019 narrative short jurors are Dowd, Grace, attorney Rosalind Lichter, Hamish Linklater, Lily Rabe, Phoebe Robinson and animator Jeff Scher. The short documentary and student visionary competition jurors are Dr. Kevin Cahill, David Krumholtz, Kathy Najimy, Nevins, writer-producer-activist Agunda Okeyo, Rodgers and HoopsNation founder Buster Scher.
Now This Interview: Activists Gloria Steinem and Agunda Okeyo on Women in Government
Jan 19, 2019 - a conversation with author/activist Gloria Steinem and Executive Director of Women's March NYC Agunda Okeyo on the 2nd anniversary of Women's March at Foley Square in NYC. On this day Women's March NYC cohosts the Women's Unity Rally with New York Immigration Coalition with a community of NYC organizations, unions, and activists in an inclusive rally celebrating social justic gains of recent years, the 2018 midterm elections that saw a record number of women elected to Congress and a vision for the work ahead in NYC.
Democracy Now Interview: Womens Unity Rally
Women took to the streets across the country and the world Saturday, two years after the historic 2017 Women’s March protesting President Trump’s inauguration. In New York City, Democracy Now! spoke to participants at the Women’s Unity Rally, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, feminist icon Gloria Steinem and Women’s March NYC Director Agunda Okeyo.
Sisters of Comedy at Afropunk Festival
August 25, 2018 Sisters of Comedy joins Afropunk Festival with an all star showcase at The Knitting Factory. For five years “Sisters of Comedy” creator Agunda Okeyo has made Black women’s voices in comedic performance her focus. On August 25, the showcase is teaming up with Afropunk at the Knitting Factory in New York City as part of its “Afropunk After Dark” series.
Sisters of Comedy at The Schomburg
This evening of stand-up comedy featured dynamic women of the Sisters Of Comedy series at The world famous Schomburg Center of Harlem, NY. Under the direction of Agunda Okeyo, Sisters of Comedy is an ongoing production formerly at Carolines on Broadway, showcasing a who’s who of black women in stand-up. Okeyo has worked with HBO’s Insecure Yvonne Orji, Two Dope Queen’s Phoebe Robinson, Def Comedy Jam’s Zainab Johnson, and many many more. The show featured comedians Yamaneika Saunders (Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon), Gina Yashere (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah), Aparna Nancharla (Comedy Central's Corporate), and Chanel Ali (Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), hosted by Agunda Okeyo (Creator, Producer). The show was followed by a conversation, moderated Angélique Roché (a journalist, attorney, content creator).
CCC OpEd: We been marching: Centering black and brown youth in the fight against gun violence
There have been at least 23 school shootings in America this year, so far. That’s an average of one school shooting a week. While recent media coverage has focused on the young white victims of high-profile mass shootings like the Feb. 14 massacre at Parkland, Florida high school, for the black community, gun violence is nothing new. In fact, according to Million Hoodies, an organization building the next generation of leadership to fight anti-black racism and systemic violence, guns kill 10 times the number of black children each year than they do white children.
The Progressive OpEd: From African American Voters to African Nations, Cambridge Analytica Wages ‘Cultural Warfare’
Political firm Cambridge Analytica attempted to suppress voting in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, whistleblower Christopher Wylie told the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on May 16. Wylie, a former contractor who disclosed the company’s alleged misuse of private Facebook user data earlier this year, said it targeted African American voters in particular, waging “cultural warfare” for political ends.
Sisters of Comedy at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival
In response to the growing national movement, Tribeca Film Festival has partnered with TIME’S UP to host a day of conversations with the women who are playing a pivotal role in raising awareness about inequality in the workplace. Activists, storytellers, business leaders, filmmakers, lawyers, media figures, and more share their stories and seek next steps to establish the parameters for lasting change across industries and the pay spectrum. "Sisters of Comedy" was a featured segement of the production. The showcase featured MC Agunda Okeyo, Gina Yashere and Shaseer Zamata
Sway in the Morning Interview: Agunda Okeyo Introduces Sisters of Comedy at Caroline’s on Broadway
Producer Agunda Okeyo joins the legendary radio host Sway Calloway on his daily radio show on SiriusXM Sway in the Mornning to dicuss her ongoing comedy showcase "Sisters of Comedy" at Carolines on Broadway. The promoted showcase features as all start line up for SISTERS OF COMEDY: THE WAKANDA (BLK AF) EDITION. MC: Gina Yashere (Netflix’s Standups) and Featuring: Dulce Sloan (The Daily Show) Sasheer Zamata (SNL) Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer) Jon Laster (BET’s Comic View) w/ Special Guest Black Thought (The Roots)
Curve Magazine Book Review: Revolutionary, Gifted & Black
Agunda Okeyo reviews the stirring Black Lives Matter Memoir "When They Call You A Terrorist" (2018) by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandale.
HB Exclusive: Q+A With Agunda Okeyo, Founder Of ‘Sisters Of Comedy’
Black women in comedy are finally having the coming out party they deserve as the last few years have brought forth several Black women who made major strides in the comedy arena, as well as breaking barriers set in place for decades.
The Progressive OpEd: Wakanda: A Nation Without Chains
The mythical African nation in ‘Black Panther’ is allowed to thrive on its own terms—offering a fascinating and rooted alternative to existing Western notions of nation-building.
Friends Like Us Podcast: February 14, 2018
This week, Erin Jackson, Agunda Okeyo, and Man-Of-The-Month Jordan Carlos stop by Friends Like Us to talk writing for comedy, Mike Pence at the Olympics, and the Super Bowl. Erin Jackson- Last Comic Standing, Exhale, Ellen, Herlarious, Standup in Stilettos. Agunda Okeyo- Activist. The Daily Beast, Okay Africa, NBC, Curve Magazine and O Magazine. Producer of Sisters of Comedy. The Laura Flanders Show. Jordan Carlos- The Colbert Report, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore...
Okay Africa OpEd: Your Ideology Is A Shithole
Trump is the figurehead for an international system that depends on an 'enfeebled' Africa in order to rob the continent it of its riches. Here's how it works.
Producer Agunda Okeyo in New York Times
Producer Agunda Okeyo and Sisters of Comedy featured in the New York Times for 4 year anniversary showcase (Jan 11, 2018).
Friends Like Us Podcast: December 6, 2017
This week on Friends Like Us: Marina Franklin, Christina Galston, MeMe Simpson, and Agunda Okeyo discuss uncomfortable conversations about sex, gender relations, Net Neutrality, and the GOP. Featured guests: Christina Galston - MTV’s Guy Code vs. Girl Code, The Chisme Club, and Stand-Up 360: Muy Caliente. MeMe Simpson - toured with Michael Blackson, Damon Wayans and wrote for Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns. Agunda Okeyo - activist, writer, producer, and filmmaker. Her writing has been featured...
Huffpo OpEd: If Black Lives Don’t Matter, African Lives Don’t Exist
If Black lives don’t matter enough to say that #BlackLivesMatter, African lives don’t exist. Living in America is an exercise in frustrating tolerance of a people who fail to recognize their ceaseless exploitation of African lives, land and resources. Most Americans are ignorant of this country’s role in the assassination of the late great Patrice Lumumba of Congo, the colonization of Liberia in their attempt to rid themselves of free blacks beginning in the 1820s or the ongoing conflicts they endorse through the military program AFRICOM — exacerbating conflicts in Somalia, South Sudan, Congo, Mali and many other places to passively control African natural resources under the guise of “democracy building” and “security” against insurgents the U.S. birthed in endless middle eastern conflict...
The Elephant Essay: I Long For A Different August
Since I was a child, I have been acutely aware of conflict and deeply concerned with resolving contentious problems. That has made for an interesting outlook considering that since my birth in August 1982 until this day, my community in Nyanza, Western Kenya has been under regular attack from state forces because of the egalitarian values we seek to uphold, in stark contrast to the neocolonial, capitalist, patriarchal ideology steering government. Read more at: https://www.theelephant.info/reflections/2017/11/08/i-long-for-a-different-august/ The Elephant - Speaking truth to power...
Friends Like Us Podcast: October 4, 2017
FLU with host Marina Franklin Judy Gold, Bonnie McFarlane, and Agunda Okeyo stop by FriendsLikeUs to discuss The march for Black Women on Washington, Taking a Knee, Whitney Houston, Palestine, Puerto Rico, and Hugh Hefner.
Essence OpEd: The March For Racial Justice - It's Time To Shift Power Away From White Supremacy
Published 2017: St. Louis police officer, Jason Stockley, was standing mere inches away from Anthony Lamar Smith when he shot and killed him. Earlier this month — on the 54th anniversary of the Birmingham 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing — Stockley was acquitted of all charges.”
VICE OpEd: If We Want to End White Supremacy, White America Needs to Step it Up
On September 30, 2017 anti-racism activists are convening in Washington D.C. for the March for Racial Justice. During the event, the support of white allies will be just as important as the protests from people of color.
HelloBeautiful Hosts Inaugural SpeakHER Town Hall On Black Women & State-Sanctioned Violence
On Thursday, August 17, 2017, Hello Beautiful hosted a dynamic town hall to discuss why Black women are removed from the conversation when we talk about state sanctioned violence.
HuffPo OpEd: Black Women on TV Living Best Selves
Up until several years ago, the daily rhythms and inner life of black women were rarely examined on television in the 21st Century. Thanks to the creative genius and tenacity of Oprah, Shonda Rhimes, Ava DuVernay, and now Issa Rae black women behind the scenes are sharing stories that finally do us justice. So after many years of one dimensional representation, we are living fully on the small screen again. Like every 30-something black woman I know, I was watching HBO’s Insecure Sunday night.
Friends Like Us Podcast: August 9, 2017
Friends talk with James Altucher about taking care of self, college debt, five things one must have, and more! Featured Guests: James Altucher- Entrepreneur, author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book: “Choose Yourself, and host of his top rated podcast “The James Altucher Show.”; Agunda Okeyo- Producer of "Sisters of Comedy", writer, filmmaker, activist, in 2016 she was named a Progressive Women’s Voices fellow with Women’s Media Center and joined the NYC board of Women; Jenny Saldana - actor, writer, host, funny maker upper, Bon Vivant, Breast Cancer Rock STAR, and featured in Glamour Magazine; Always hosted by Marina Franklin: "Trainwreck", "Louie Season V","The Jim Gaffigan Show", "Conan O'Brien", and HBO's "Crashing"
Black Women-Centered Comedy Show Holds ‘Night of Levity for Black Lives’
A black women comedy show hosted a “night of levity for black lives” to inspire “community” among black people, coinciding with the third anniversary of the death of 18-year-old black teen Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, Mo.
NBC News OpEd: Comedy Can Lead to Inclusion in Divided Times
I’ve always been “woke.” I attribute this to being the youngest with two big brothers who outpaced me and pushed me to think faster and play harder. Also being a Kenyan immigrant in growing up in NYC had the same effect. In the never ending oil spill of the 2016 election, we are all covered in this grimy substance that simply won’t wash out.
HelloBeautiful 'Chick Chat' Interview: Fighting Back Against The Patriarchy With Comedy
May 24, 2017 - Charise Frazier and Keyaira Kelly sit down with “Sisters of Comedy” series creator Agunda Okeyo and writer/ activist Michaela Angela Davis, to talk about the visibility of Black women in comedy.
PBS Video: Behind the Scenes with Sisters of Comedy
Published May 24, 2017 (recorded at 2016 NYCF) PBS goes behind the scenes at the world-famous Carolines on Broadway comedy club with the black female comics who are the “Sisters of Comedy.” Find out how they’re showcasing diversity both onstage and off.
PIX11 in NYC Panel Interview: ‘Black women at work’ hashtag highlights racism in the workplace
April 3, 2017 - Writer Agunda Okeyo and Chanda Gibson, executive director of the Council of Urban Professionals, discuss the viral hashtag #BlackWomenatWork. The hashtag, created by educator and activist Brittany Packnett, is a response to the way Congressman Maxine Waters and White House Correspondent April Ryan were treated by Fox News Commentator Bill O'Reilly and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer last week. Many black women used this hashtag to talk about the discrimination and disrespect they experience in the workplace.
Feet in Two Worlds, WNYC Podcast: Between Fear and Hope
Dec 15, 2016 - A growing number of cities, college campuses and churches have declared themselves to be sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. Some states – including California and New York, home to large immigrant populations – have said that they will resist Trump’s immigration policies. But no one really knows what will happen when Trump takes office. Feet in 2 Worlds invited a group of young immigrants to talk about their responses -in both words and deeds – to the incoming administration.
Oprah Mag Book Review: Noah's Memoir Raw, Real & Funny
December 2, 2016 - You'd be hard-pressed to find a comic’s origin story better than the one Trevor Noah serves up in Born a Crime. Noah, his little brother, and their mother are on the way home from church. After a dispute with their bus driver, Noah’s mother hurls herself and her boys out of the moving vehicle. Bruised and bloodied, they flee to safety, and Noah, then just 9, observes, “I know you love Jesus, but maybe next week you could ask him to meet us at our house.” (Dec 1, 2016)
OkayAfrica OpEd: Why We're Taking Our Protest Okay Africa OpEd - Against Racism and Misogyny To Trump Tower
Women of color have always been at the forefront of the fight for equality and will continue to do so under a Trump presidency says Agunda Okeyo.
Complex Mag: WOC Lead Post-Election Protest in NY
Nov 10, 2016 - via Complex Writer & filmmaker Agunda Okeyo offered especially affecting insight, taking hold of a megaphone as night set in and rain fell more heavily. Okeyo, who is from Kenya, said she has lived through dictatorships and likens the atmosphere in America right now to the start of a dictatorial regime. “You guys got bamboozled," she said, but her words were ultimately hopeful. She spoke of the need to empower black women to lead—because, she said, they are leaders...
Rewire.com: WOC Led Coalitions Launch #Our100
Nov 9, 2016 - via ReWire “Women of color-led coalitions are coming together in the first 100 hours after electing a new president to support an agenda for Black lives, immigrants, Muslims, Latinas … against rape culture and a sexist, racist, xenophobic policy,” said Agunda Okeyo, an activist, organizer, and African immigrant in New York City.
Democracy Now: Anti-Trump Rally @ Columbus Circle
On Nov 9, 2016- via Democracy Now! #GOPHandsOffMe held major rally at Columbus Circle in NYC, near Trump International Hotel calling for continued action to confront racist, sexist and xenophobic policy and practice. Agunda speaks on the election.
The Laura Flanders Show Interview: The Day After The Election 2016
Nov 8, 2016 - On The Laura Flanders Show, a special call to action against post-election complacency. Although many of us affected by this election will be embittered and jaded by the "nightmarish" election season, our guests this week, activists ranging from many backgrounds, communities, and ages have a thoughts on how we can continue to mobilize #AfterTheElection.
Women & Hollywood: “Sisters of Comedy” Joins New York Comedy Festival
Back in March, filmmaker and activist Agunda Okeyo announced a new monthly production called “Sisters of Comedy,” which is presented at Caroline’s on Broadway. “Sisters of Comedy” just booked a high-profile gig: Okeyo’s production will take the stage at the upcoming New York Comedy Festival...
PIX11 in NYC Interview: "Sisters of Comedy" at the New York Comedy Festival
Nov 1, 2016 - Agunda Okeyo and comedian Michelle Buteau appeared LIVE to discuss the Nov 2nd NY Comedy Festival production of Sisters of Comedy at Carolines on Broadway on PIX 11 with hosts Scott Stanford and Sukanya Krishnan!
Sisters of Comedy at New York Comedy Festival
Agunda Okeyo joins NEW YORK COMEDY FESTIVAL w/ “Sisters of Comedy” at Carolines on Broadway Wednesday, November 2nd at 7:30pm. Hosted by Broad City’s Michelle Buteau, Zainab Johnson (Comic View), Gina Yashere (The Tonight Show), Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live) Special guests Mark Normand (Inside Amy Schumer) and Judah Friedlander (30 Rock)! Okeyo is ft. as a rising producer & activist in Time Out NY The New Yorker, Essence, Black Enterprise, Hollywood Reporter, NY Times, NBC & HuffPost.
Ebro in the Morning Interview: Agunda Okeyo talks Sisters of Comedy & co-creating the 1st Trump protest group!
Oct 31, 2016 - Agunda Okeyo visited Hot 97 to discuss ‘Sisters of Comedy’ and creating the first Trump protest group. Watch the interview!
New York Times: "Millennials Protest Against Trump"
Oct 18th - via NYTimes Young minority women organized anti-Trump protests in cities across the country after multiple sexual assault allegations against him.