Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler skipped the Oscars to raise almost $150,000 for poisoned kids in Flint. You can still watch online, and donate by texting JUSTICE to 83224.
Creed director Ryan Coogler has insisted that the timing of his Justice for Flint event was designed to coincide with the end of Black History Month. But it's hard to ignore the fact that the live-streamed concert and rally went head-to-head with the Oscars, especially since his co-host was the Oscar-nominated director of Selma, Ava DuVernay.
While several prominent black actors and directors, including Spike Lee and Will and Jada Smith, decided to boycott this year's Academy Awards in the name of #OscarsSoWhite, Coogler and DuVernay took things a step further by creating an activist campaign in its place. The #JusticeForFlint evening, featuring celebrated entertainers like Janelle Monae and Stevie Wonder, was intended to raise money and awareness for the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where thousands of children have suffered from lead poisoning following a financially-based decision made in 2014 to switch the city's tap water source to a notably polluted river. The event was, and continues to be, a success. They have raised almost $150,000 so far, and are still accepting contributions. We congratulate both filmmakers on the success of this event and for turning controversy into action.
If you simply couldn't tear yourself away from the Oscars last night, you still have a chance to watch the #JusticeForFlint concert here: