Known for her quick repartee, insightful commentary, and audience rapport, Karen Williams is unabashedly herself.

The nation’s first openly lesbian black comic to include specifically lesbian material in her act, Karen Williams started building her career in the early 1980’s in the San Francisco Bay area.

In 1988, in response to the AIDS pandemic, Karen founded the HaHA Institute, the International Institute of Humor and Healing Arts. The mission of the HaHA Institute is to encourage highest activation of human potential for compassion, wisdom, and life force through the daily use of humor and the healing arts, including stress management, nutrition, healing touch, and spiritual practices. Karen Williams also taught the nation’s only four-credit Senior Seminar in Stand Up Comedy at Cleveland State University. Always grounded in comedy and steeped in social activism, Karen’s list of accomplishments goes on and on.

This is the story of Karen Williams life, her hard fought battle to break into the white comedy club circuit, and the joy that has guided her through it all.

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