While some will be watching the live broadcast of the 88th Academy Awards this coming Sunday, a bevy of Black entertainers and celebrities will make their way to Flint, Mich. Director Ava DeVernay, actor Jesse Williams, comedian Hannibal Buress and several other big names will be joined together in solidarity for the #JUSTICEFORFLINT event on Feb. 28, as reported by BuzzFeed.
Highlighted in an exclusive report from the website, Burress will host #JUSTICEFORFLINT, which is free and open to the public. The event is presented by the Blackout for Human Rights, an activist group founded by Creed director, Ryan Coogler.
For almost two years, Flint’s residents — many of whom are black and impoverished — have been subjected to massive lead and bacterial contamination in Genesee County’s water supply, and forced to avoid tap water.
#JUSTICEFORFLINT will take place at the Whiting Auditorium (1241 E. Kearsley St.) on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET to raise both awareness and funds for those affected by the water crisis. It will also be live-streamed via revolt.tv, and donations will be collected at the event and via text. Along with all the star power, organizers have also invited members of the Flint community to share their stories with the audience.
“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 News in a statement. “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.”
Coogler added that the event lining up with the Oscar Awards was largely a coincidence. The Feb. 28 date was selected as it was the last weekend of Black History Month.
The #JUSTICEFORFLINT gathering was the result of the Blackout group’s #MLKNOW event that took place Jan. 28 in Harlem, New York.