ACLU Brings Hit 'Stand Up For Freedom' Comedy Tour to Columbia University

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
November 8, 2004 12:00 am

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Five-City Tour Features Celebrity Comedians, Including Lewis Black, Caroline Rhea, Damon Williams and Shang

NEW YORK-Celebrity comedians will perform at Columbia University tonight as part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Stand Up for Freedom comedy tour, which is designed to motivate students to promote and protect their civil rights and civil liberties.

“The Stand Up for Freedom tour is an opportunity to involve young people to fight against the erosion of our fundamental freedoms, especially the freedom of speech,” said Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “Now more than ever, this generation sees the importance of being involved with civil liberties and civil rights.”

The Columbia University event will feature performances by:

  • Rich Vos and Cory Kahaney, the stars of the hit television show “Last Comic Standing”
  • Patrice O’Neal from Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn”
  • Shang, a favorite on BET’s “Comic View” and “Def Comedy Jam”
  • Damon Williams from the hit “Kings of Comedy” tour and a regular on BET
  • Special acoustic performance by 20-year-old recording artist Nellie McKay

Tonight’s event will also include an action center for students to sign up for ACLU alerts and get educated on critical issues currently facing Americans, including the Patriot Act, racial profiling and free speech rights. ACLU legislative field organizers, as well as student leaders from the ACLU chapter at Columbia University and local representatives from the New York Civil Liberties Union, will be present before and after the concert to inform students of actions they can take to help protect civil liberties.

The college tour comes at a time when Americans are paying particularly close attention to civil liberties as a result of last week’s election, the ACLU said. The group said that within 24 hours of the election it had experienced its largest-ever surge in online donations – more than 1,200 unsolicited gifts totaling more than $65,000 (an average of $54 per person). The ACLU said that that is more money than it gets online in a typical week.

The ACLU launched the Stand Up for Freedom tour in October with two high-profile Homecoming Week events at Howard University and Clark Atlanta University. The next stops for the tour are Boston University on November 15 with Caroline Rhea, and Ohio State University on November 18 with Lewis Black.

The ACLU Stand Up for Freedom tour was developed in partnership with Zilo Networks, Inc., an integrated entertainment and marketing network designed specifically for college students and young adults.

For more information on the comedy tour, go to

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