Suburban Mosaic: Indian American woman turns racist attack into comedy act coming to Rosemont

Kiran Deol needed two surgeries after being hit in the face with a bottle in a racist attack outside a 7-Eleven in December.

Now, mostly recovered from her injury, Deol has turned her experience into a stand-up act playing Thursday at Zanies Comedy Club in Rosemont.

An award-winning Indian American comedian/actor/filmmaker, Deol was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “11 Asian American Comics Who Killed It.” She starred on the NBC/Hulu comedy “Sunnyside,” and has appeared on TV shows including “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Modern Family.”

She also has made films for HBO and Sundance, been nominated for an Emmy, and shortlisted for an Academy Award.

Based in Los Angeles, Deol made a short documentary film right out of college titled “Woman Rebel,” released in 2010. It follows the story of a woman rebel soldier who went from fighting in the jungles of Nepal to the halls of parliament. It focuses on “women who are agents of change and not victims of circumstance,” Deol said.

“This (comedy) hour kind of addresses that. It doesn’t sound funny but I promise it’s funny,” she said.

Speaking about her attack via stand-up, “it’s an opportunity to take back the story,” Deol said. “By making it funny, it’s kind of a way of dealing with it. You get to take something senseless and (give) it meaning.”

Deol’s act focuses on getting people to relate to her personal experience with racism and doesn’t ponder the larger problem in society.

“And when it is funny and it disarms you, it kind of takes it out of the political zeitgeist and makes it really human,” she said.



The Rosemont show starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. To purchase tickets, visit

Parliament of religions

Thousands of attendees are expected at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, which returns to Chicago this August after 30 years.

The 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions will run Aug. 14-18, at the McCormick Place Lakeside Center, 2301 S. Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

An interfaith parade is being planned from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 13, at Museum Campus, The Welcome Garden, 1521 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago. The Parade of Faiths celebrates Chicago’s rich diversity with music, dance, and festivities open to the public.

The deadline for parade submissions is Aug. 1. Register at

Illinois’ Sikh community, led by the Sikh Religious Society of Palatine, is gearing up to serve langar — communal free vegetarian meals — to about 6,000 delegates every day for the duration of the parliament, said Rajinder Singh Mago, trustee emeritus of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions and community outreach and media coordinator for the Sikh Religious Society of Palatine.



The Sikh community has done the same at parliaments in Barcelona, Spain (2004), Salt Lake City (2015), and Toronto (2018).

The Windy City is the birthplace of the interfaith movement that’s marking 130 years of history. The inaugural World Parliament of Religions was held in September 1893 in conjunction with the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, later known as the World’s Fair, in Chicago.

Since 1993, there have been eight global convenings hosted by the parliament. It is the largest, most diverse, and premier global gathering for people of religious, spiritual and ethical convictions, according to the parliament’s website.

Participants from more than 200 religious, Indigenous, and secular beliefs and more than 80 nations are expected to attend.

This year’s conference includes plenary and breakout sessions, art and cultural exhibits, performances, a film festival and opportunities to connect with people and organizations committed to justice, peace and sustainability. For more information, visit

Halal fest

The Illinois Muslim Chamber of Commerce’s first Naperville Halal Fest will run from noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 5, at Frontier Park, 3380 Cedar Glade Drive, Naperville. The fest celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the Muslim world experienced through halal food, traditional clothing, music, cultural performances and children’s activities.

The event is free and open to the public. More than 3,000 attendees are anticipated, organizers said.

Last year's Oakton College Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program art show drew more than 300 visitors to the Des Plaines campus. 

Last year’s Oakton College Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program art show drew more than 300 visitors to the Des Plaines campus. 
– Courtesy of Oakton College

Gender studies art show

Oakton College in Des Plaines invites professional artists of all media, including performance artists, to submit a single work for the 15th annual Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program art show.

This year’s exhibition, titled “Don’t ‘Drag’ Me Down: Today’s Battle for Liberation,” aims to provide social commentary and inspiration about how marginalized communities create courageous spaces, empower each other and change the world. The submission deadline is Aug. 11.

The annual art show is “drawn to respond to what’s happening in the world and to our communities,” said Lindsey Hewitt, Oakton distinguished professor of anthropology and humanities and coordinator of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

“There have been many changes in U.S. legislation in the last year that threaten our bodily autonomy, our gender identities, our sexualities and our intellectual freedoms,” Hewitt said. “Alongside the shifts in law and policy, there has been a culture of exclusion and violence at the local, state, national, and corporate levels.”

Submissions can focus on women and/or other gender and sexual minorities, in or outside of the United States, with a contemporary or historical context in the public or private sphere. Entries will be judged on artistic quality and adherence to the exhibition theme.

Women, nonbinary and/or queer professional artists 18 years or older can submit artwork for free. Complete the online submission form at

The exhibit will run from Oct. 5 to Nov. 3, at Oakton’s Koehnline Museum of Art, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines. A public reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 5.

• Share stories and news from the suburban mosaic at mkrishnamurthy@dailyherald.


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