Stand Up! Girls Announces Formation of Advisory Board

Stand Up! Girls is pleased to announce the formation of its Advisory Board. This group of comedians brings comprehensive performance expertise from the stand up comedy community and will influence Stand Up! Girls’ strategy and provide guidance on program expansion.

“This is an important addition to Stand Up! Girls” said Nancy Tepper, executive director of Stand Up! Girls. “We thoughtfully curated this board to include industry leaders who can help further our mission and who our program participants can look up to.”

Introducing the members of the Stand Up! Girls Advisory Board (in alphabetical order):

Joanna M. Briley

Joanna M. Briley is a NYC-based comedian, writer, producer and the Founding Director of the Black Women in Comedy Festival held in Brooklyn, NY. With over 20 years of experience, Joanna began creating laughter in safe spaces for Black Women in order to amplify their comedic voices for multicultural audiences and stages the world over. Joanna has sponsored Stand Up! Girls showcases at Brooklyn House of Comedy.

Franqi French

Variety named Franqi French one of the 2020 – 10 Comics to watch! In 2019, NBC crowned her the winner of their National Standup Up Comedy competition, and in 2021 Ms. French is releasing her first 1-hour comedy special: M.A.D. She has made guest appearances on WeTV, TVOne’s “The Roland Martin Show,” and Franqi will be a featured comic on Season 3 of “Laugh After Dark” on Amazon Prime. Stand Up! Girls was featured on Ms. French’s podcast, Non Prophets.

Dara Jemmott  

Dara Jemmott is a Jersey girl, Brooklyn based comedian, host, voice over artist. Dara has taught several Stand Up! Girls classes, and hosted Stand Up! Girls showcases. After years of working in corporate America, a bad date pushed Dara to pursue stand-up, and she soon realized she could save thousands on therapy. Dara hosts and performs all around the country, and has even taken her talents to London and Barcelona. When not performing she is teaching stand-up and improv, to young kids and teens, to motivate them to find their own platforms of expression. Dara also co-hosts a podcast, Comedians for Hire, which was inspired by her personal journey of ditching the corporate cubicle for the crazy world of comedy. 

Areshia McFarlin

Areshia McFarlin is a trained Classical Actress, Stand-up Comedienne, Writer and Producer. Areisha has performed at several Stand! Up Girls’ showcases. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hampton University and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Columbia University. She has appeared in numerous stage, television, and film productions including, “Law & Order”, “My Brother’s Keeper”, and “Jacked Up”. She has written several television series and feature films. She has been a member of the SAG/AFTRA nearly 20 years. Areshia performs regularly nationwide, and locally in New York City’s finest comedy clubs. Her shows are often described as being “Witty, Smart, Sassy, and Direct”, all agree that, “She’s Pretty Funny!” 

Mary Turner Minard

Mary Turner Minard, originally from Richmond, VA, moved to New York City to study Dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating, she performed as a dancer and actress in theater, television, and film. Currently, she is a NYC mom to a teenage girl and a 10-year-old boy. As a parent, she dove into supporting parenting organizations ( i.e. Parents in Action) and has found a passion through empowering young women. She is also a Board Member at The Atlantic Theater, an off-broadway theater company that creates a theater curriculum for several inner-city schools. 


To learn more about Stand Up! Girls visit: