Sarah Amy Harvard is a journalist, writer, consultant, and a stand-up comedian
Sarah is a human being fueled by empathy, curiosity, and an aversion to the status quo. She currently works as a full-time freelance journalist—primarily for the UK’s the Independent—where she mostly cover politics, national security, and immigration.
She started her career in Washington, D.C., interning on Capitol Hill and working at several political non-profit organizations for several years before venturing in the world of media and comedy. In addition to working as a journalist, she spent some time working in user experience research for Google and YouTube in 2018, as well as a consultant in digital media and content strategy for several nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies.
There are a few things that she is most passionate about: storytelling, making people laugh, and speaking truth to power. (Honorable mention: proto-punk and 80s punk music.)
If you haven’t heard her accent yet, it’s typically clear that she is a Chicago-native with family roots in Morocco and Japan. Currently, she is living in New York City’s historic punk rock neighbourhood with her two imaginary cats—Zam Zam and Gigi—since her apartment building doesn’t allow pets.
Before freelancing, Sarah spent a few years working at Mic as a staff reporter covering identities—primarily focusing on religion, gender, and its intersection with national security. In 2018, she worked as a staff writer for GOOD Magazine and Upworthy focusing on solution-oriented journalism within the religion, foreign policy, and the culture beat.
In a nutshell, she loves write vigorously-reported and impassioned stories about greed, corruption and conflict, and how they affect ordinary people in this world.
A lot of these stories end up in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Intercept, the New Republic, the Guardian, Slate, Splinter, VICE and the Huffington Post. Sometimes they are cited or appear in the Columbia Journalism Review, CNN Reliable Sources, the Daily Beast, CBS Face the Nation, BBC and TIME.
As a writer, Sarah finds great thrill in venturing into the unknown. So far, she’s traveled to Myanmar and Thailand to meet with democracy activists and examine the Rohingya conflict firsthand; Saudi Arabia to meet with housewives, working women, and Muslim pilgrims; Morocco to hear from the Atlas Mountains’ Amazigh population about their fight against systemic oppression and for cultural preservation; and Germany to learn from champions of press freedom.
Occasionally, she enjoys sitting down with rising stars and prominent figures to discuss today’s pressing issues. You may recognize some of them: Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Noam Chomsky, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Reza Aslan, W. Kamau Bell, John Oliver, Donald Glover, Russell Simmons, Vic Mensa and T.I.
More than anything, Sarah is passionate about journalism, the world, and the people in it.
The first time she fell in love with the written word was when she witnessed her grandmother—an illiterate child bride from Morocco—write her name for the first time. She was six-years-old, visiting her amui in a shoddy two-bedroom apartment in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She watched her write her own name anxiously, carefully, slowly, on the palm of her hand. That moment instilled a belief in her that writing is more than a privileged craft: it’s a form of emancipation.
Since then, Sarah made a promise to myself to use my passion for writing for a purpose: to amplify underrepresented voices, hold those in power accountable, and document the rapidly changing world around her.
Raised in a Muslim family, Sarah Harvard is a no-holds barred comic tackling the taboo topics often found in religion, race, politics and sexuality. As a Moroccan-Japanese woman, Sarah’s comedic stylings offer a one-of-a-kind perspective on society, while her worldly upbringing allows her material to be universally funny.
The up-and-coming comic performed at clubs all over New York City and Washington, D.C., including the Broadway Comedy Club, the Comic Strip, Gotham Comedy Club, Dangerfield’s, and a showcase at the Comedy Cellar.
She also told a few jokes in Myanmar and Saudi Arabia without being jailed or assassinated—a rare feat in these times.
Ironically, some of Sarah’s influences are old white men (some of them are deceased): Mitch Hedberg, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Bill Burr, and Sebastian Maniscalco. Her favorite non-white comics are Trevor Noah, Mo Amer, Dave Chappelle, Russell Peters, and Leslie Jones.