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Margaret Cho speaks tonight at Lehigh

Margaret Cho will be the keynote speaker at the Women's Center's fifth anniversary celebration.

Comedian and social activist Margaret Cho will deliver the keynote address for the Women’s Center’s fifth anniversary celebration tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Packard Auditorium 101.

Described as an entertainment pioneer and lauded for her social justice activism for women’s and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Ally (LGBTQA) rights, Cho will give a special comedic lecture on feminism, activism, and the status of women.

Tickets are $5 each and available at the Women’s Center to LVAIC and Lehigh faculty, staff and students only. University/college identification cards are required for purchase. Tickets will be sold at the door starting at 7 p.m.

The Cho event is part of a semester-long celebration of the Women’s Center’s fifth anniversary.

“We are celebrating our fifth birthday by bringing three outstanding female performers to Lehigh this semester,” says Kristin Handler, director of Lehigh University’s Women’s Center. “In September, we co-sponsored the performance by folk-rock singer Dar Williams during the Zoellner Block Party, and brought legendary rapper MC Lyte to talk about women in hip-hop during the Say Word! Hip-Hop Theatre Festival.

“We are thrilled to have Margaret Cho as our keynote speaker. I’m confident that she’ll deliver a powerful message about equal rights using her distinctive brand of comedy.”

Developing her unique comedic style

Margaret Cho was born in San Francisco to Korean immigrant parents. She has worked as a comedian since she was 16, taking inspiration from Richard Pryor’s no-holds-barred style to develop her own honest, critical and often controversial style to speak about her observations about the real world.

Margaret Cho first achieved national recognition as the star of her short-lived ABC sitcom All-American Girl, the first network comedy show about an Asian-American family in television history.

Since then, Cho has toured several one-woman shows, including Notorious C.H.O., Assassin, and I’m the One that I Want, the DVD of which was the highest grossing film per print in movie history. In these shows, she draws from her own life experiences, such as her struggles with body image and sexual identity, and her experiences of being stereotyped as both “too Asian” and “not Asian enough.”

Margaret Cho is also active politically, working with moveon.org and creating a marriage equality resource site called Loveisloveislove.com. Her activist work has garnered her numerous awards: Margaret was recently the recipient of the First Amendment Award from the ACLU of Southern California, and the Intrepid Award from the National Organization for Women (NOW).

She has also been honored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) for "making a significant difference in promoting equal rights for all, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity."

The Women’s Center’s official birthday party will be on Dec. 8, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Women’s Center. All members of the university community are invited. The party will feature a special appearance by world-famous conductor JoAnn Falletta, who will conduct the Lehigh Philharmonic Orchestra on December 9.

For more information, visit the Women’s Center’s website.

--Sarah Cooke


Posted on Friday, November 17, 2006

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