Several high-profile entertainers will be spending their Oscar night on Sunday raising money for the victims of the Flint Water Crisis. Acclaimed filmmaker Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) is using his Blackout for Human Rights organization to host the star-studded affair at Flint’s The Whiting Auditorium.
The goal of the free event is to promote solidarity and support for the communities affected by the lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan. #JusticeForFlint will feature live musical performances from Flint native Jon Connor as well as Royce Da 5’9″, Vic Mensa, Denaun Porter, Jasiri X, Mysonne, Janelle Monae, Jussie Smollett, Robert Glasper, Ledisi, Andra Day, and Musiq Soulchild.
Selma director Ava DuVernay and Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams are set to be on hand as well. Comedian Hannibal Buress will serve as master of ceremonies.
“With the #JusticeForFlint benefit event we will give a voice to the members of the community who were the victims of the choices of people in power who are paid to protect them, as well as provide them with a night of entertainment, unity, and emotional healing,” Ryan Coogler told BuzzFeed. “Through the live stream we will also give a chance for people around the world to participate, and to donate funds to programs for Flint’s youth.”
While the charity gathering is scheduled to take place the same night as the Academy Awards ceremony, Coogler contends the overlap was not an intentional display of support for the #OscarsSoWhite boycott. The 29-year-old California native – who many observers felt was snubbed for a Best Director Oscar nod this year for Creed – says the date was chosen because it fell on the final weekend of Black History Month.
Blackout for Human Rights teamed with other sponsoring individuals and organizations based in Flint such as Michigan Faith In Action and Flint Democracy Defense League. Additional sponsors include REVOLT TV, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Color of Change, All Def Digital, ARRAY, and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10.
Blackout for Human Rights is a collective of filmmakers, artists, activists, and concerned citizens that devote their resources to address human rights violations in the United States. Members include founder Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, Charles King, Ava DuVernay, Jesse Williams, Nate Parker, John Burris, Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosa Clemente, Scott Budnick, David Oyelowo, Michael McBride, and many others.
#JusticeForFlint is scheduled for Sunday, February 28 at 5 pm. The showcase will stream live on revolt.tv, Donations will be collected at the event and via text. For more information visit the Blackout for Human Rights Facebook page.