In the wake of #OscarsSoWhite, many of your favorite celebrities have decided to ban together to make a difference in the lives of others. On Sunday, February 28th, Selma director Ava DuVernay, Creed director Ryan Coogler, Grey’s Anatomy star, Jesse Williams, Grammy nominated singer Janelle Monáe and more are participating in #JusticeForFlint.
For the past two years, residents of Flint, Michigan have been afflicted by lead contaminated water and their local government’s response has lacked a sense of urgency.
The free forum will be open to the public and is hosted by comedian Hannibal Buress.In an interview with BuzzFeed, Coogler shared the mission behind the event.
“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” he said.
“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.”
#JusticeForFlint will be held at the Whiting Auditorium (1241 E. Kearsley St.) on the 28th beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET. It will also be live-streamed via Sean P. Diddy Comb’s network, revolt.tv. Donations will be collected at the event and accepted via text. The forum will also allow Flint residents the opportunity to share how their lives have been impacted since the onset of the water crisis.
While some may say Coogler intentionally chose to hold his event in the midst of the Academy Awards telecast; in which his critically acclaimed film Creed was shut out of any nominations, the 29-year-old director said the date just so happened to be the last weekend of Black History Month.
Coogler’s activist collective, Blackout for Human Rights, is producing #JusticeForFlint having most recently held a #MLKNow event which celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.