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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Stand Up for Peace with well known Jewish-American and Palestinian-American Comedians, Feb. 7

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

Well known show brings Jews, Arabs, Muslims and people from all backgrounds together to laugh, and encourages a dialogue in support of a peaceful, political resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 30, 2013 -- As part of the University of Rhode Island's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week, URI Hillel, joined by many other organizations (see below) will present "Stand Up for Peace," on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 pm in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The performance is free and open to the public.

Stand Up for Peace was created by Jewish-American comic Scott Blakeman and Palestinian-American comic Dean Obeidallah as a way of bringing Arab and Jewish-Americans together through comedy to help encourage a dialogue in support of a political, peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as foster understanding between Arab and Jewish-Americans. It is a model for people of all backgrounds and ethnicities.

Blakeman and Obeidallah begin the show together, perform their own acts separately, and then reunite at the end for an entertaining and candid question and answer session. The performance will be preceded by a workshop led by Blakeman and Obeidallah on using comedy to create cross cultural dialogue. The workshop will take place from 5-6 pm on Feb. 7 in the Hardge Forum of the URI Multicultural Center, 74 Lower College Rd.

“Standup for Peace,” according to Blakeman and Obeidallah, “is first and foremost a comedy show, one that offers smart, thoughtful humor about our families, ethnic and religious backgrounds, as well as our progressive political humor. And most importantly, this kind of humor offers hope—because if you could hear peace, it would sound like laughter.”

For more information about Stand Up for Peace and Blakeman and Obeidallah, please see www.standupforpeace.com.

For more information about the performance and workshop on Feb. 7, please contact Amy Olson, Executive Director of the Hillel Foundation at the University of Rhode Island at amyolson@mail.uri.edu or 401-874-2740.

This show is presented in partnership with the Muslim Student Association, the URI Multicultural Center, the URI Student Entertainment Committee, the URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, the URI Student Affairs Diversity Committee, the URI Chaplains Association, the URI Department of Communication Studies in the Harrington School of Communication and Media, and the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, and with the support of the Avi Schaefer Fund.

Hillel, the Jewish Student Center at URI, was awarded a 2012 Diversity Award by the URI Multicultural Center and the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity recognizing Hillel for its outstanding contributions toward developing a more inclusive, diverse and equitable campus community at URI and increasing the capacity of the University to reach its fullest educational, cultural, economic, and social potential.