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Stand-up comedy and academic research converge in new speaker series ‘Latinxs and Comedy’

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Selenis Leyva attends the 'Orange Is The New Black' Final Season Premiere in New York.

Northeastern University’s Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean Studies program will kick off a new speaker series, “Latinxs and Comedy,” with actress, author and activist Selenis Leyva. Leyva’s appearance at 6 p.m. Thursday at Blackman Auditorium on the Boston campus will help celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs through Oct. 15.

Leyva is best known for her role as Gloria Mendoza in the popular Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black.” She will talk about Afro Latina representation in comedy and in Hollywood. “I think it’s really important for the speaker series to highlight the Latinx contribution both in terms of popular discussion, but also in an academic discussion,” says Isabel Martinez, director of the program.

The idea to hold a speaker series about comedy was intentional, according to Martinez, a Latinx youth immigration scholar who has been developing the New York Latinx Comedy Project for the last three years. The project’s goal is to tell the rich history of Latinx stand-up comics in New York.

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