Hamilton star Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan has taken Alexander Hamilton’s words “I am not throwin’ away my shot” to heart.
On Saturday, August 15, Onaodowan and Morgan Marcell will reunite the original Broadway cast for the musical’s popular Ham4Change performances in an effort to help fund organizations dedicated to ending systemic racism. The virtual event, which begins at 4 pm PT/7 pm ET and available on Looped, features exclusive behind-the-scenes, trivia, interactive games, prizes, and never-before-seen original content shared by the cast. Proceeds will benefit Know Your Rights Camp, African American Policy Forum (AAPF), and Black AIDS Institute.
Onaodowan, who originated Hamilton roles Hercules Mulligan and James Madison, shared this with ESSENCE. “It is vital for everyone to exercise the right to vote and speak out against this administration and any government official that doesn’t acknowledge or pledge to eradicate systematic racism and oppression of Black and Brown people.”
He continued: “Our democracy theoretically only works if we do so. Now is the time to shout out against systematic racism so all others know their cries for change are not alone.”
Since August 1, Onaodowan and Marcell have gathered several cast members in taking a stance for justice. Today’s final Ham4Change virtual event is its largest reunion; it will feature Onaodowan with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Javier Muñoz, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Ephraim Sykes, Austin Smith, Hope Easterbrook, Neil Haskell, Thayne Jasperson, Seth Stewart, Sasha Hutchings, Betsy Struxness, Carleigh Bettiol, Alysha Deslorieux, Voltaire Wade-Greene, Elizabeth Judd Salinas, Ariana DeBose, with special guests Hamilton musical and film director Thomas Kail and associate choreographer Stephanie Klemons.
Past Ham4Change events have benefited BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective), LEAP (Law Enforcement Accountability Project), When We All Vote, Until Freedom, Color of Change and Dance 4 Hope.