Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Janelle Monae and Jesse Williams were just a few of the big stars that ditched last night’s Oscars to attend and support #JusticeForFlint, a benefit in Flint, Michigan for residents affected by the city’s lead-contaminated water crisis. The event took place Sunday as part of the last weekend of Black History Month and was hosted by comedian Hannibal Buress.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Ryan Coogler explains that the event intends to “give a voice to the members of the community who where 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.”
Flint’s water crisis began in 2014 when the city switched from purchasing Detroit’s Lake Huron water water from the nearby Flint River in an attempt to save money. The Flint River had not been treated with anti-corrosion chemicals and its water decimated pipes causing lead to leach into the system. It was discovered through revealed emails between city officials, that administrators were aware of the potential risks before the decision to switch was made.
Though not able to make it to the event, Scandal star Kerry Washington shared her support from the Oscars by retweeting DuVernay in solidarity,
“YES YES YES! Text now! #JusticeForFlint”
Held at Flint’s The Whiting Auditorium, the fundraiser benefit raised over $100,000 in donations, which are still being accepted.
#JusticeForFlint is being live streamed by Revolt TV here.