Black Movie Directors Are Hosting an Oscars-Night Fundraiser in Flint

The timing was just a coincidence, says “Creed” luminary Ryan Coogler.

Ava DuVernayOvidiu Hrubaru/Shutterstock

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Not really feeling the Oscars this year? Well, there’s another star-studded event you can tune into Sunday night—this one is in Flint, Michigan. Blackout for Human Rights, an activist coalition co-founded by directors Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) and Ava DuVernay (Selma) is hosting #JusticeforFlint, a live benefit to raise funds for residents of the lead-stricken city. The shindig, hosted by comedian Hannibal Burress, will feature the awesome singer Janelle Monae—who led several Black Lives Matter protests last summer during stops on her nationwide music tour—Empire‘s Jussie Smollett, Jesse Williams of Grey’s Anatomy, and other prominent black actors and performers. It’s free to the public, but attendees can donate to a Flint fund at the event. The event coincides with Oscars day, but that’s just a coincidence, according to Coogler, who was snubbed for the Best Director category for Creed. (DuVernay was snubbed for Selma last year.) The date was chosen because it was the last weekend of Black History Month.

“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,” Coogler said in a statement to 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.” #JusiceforFlint will be live-streamed exclusively on revolt.tv, the online counterpart to the RevoltTV network founded by hip-hop mogul Sean “Puffy” Combs. The event airs at 5:30 p.m. EST, 90 minutes before the Oscars’ Red Carpet coverage commences. So if you’re interested, you can probably catch most of both.

Blackout for Human Rights also held an MLK Day event in New York City last month where black entertainers including Chris Rock, Michael B. Jordan, and Harry Belafonte read speeches by civil rights icons. Rock is hosting the Oscars on Sunday. He’s expected to deliver a monologue on diversity in Hollywood.

Flint has been in the national news since last October, when news broke that the city’s water had been contaminated with lead for well over a year, despite pleas to local and state officials. Check out this article about the Flint mom who helped bring the scandal to the nation’s attention. It’ll make your blood boil.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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