On February 28th, celebrities Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Janelle Monae, Jesse Williams, Hannibal Burress, and more will be in attendance at #JUSTICEFORFLINT, a free event at the Whiting Auditorium in Flint, Michigan. This happens to be the same night of the Academy Awards.
#JUSTICEFORFLINT is being put on by Blackout for Human Rights, an activist group founded by Ryan Coogler focused on the protection of human rights in the United States. Hannibal Burress will host the event.
Ryan Coogler made a statement to Buzzfeed News saying, “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.” There will also be an opportunity for those that want to support the cause to donate and participate in the event via live stream.
The idea for this event was spawned from #MLKNOW an event in honor of Black History Month, which took place on Martin Luther King Day at Riverside Baptist Church in Harlem, NY earlier this year. It was considered a success by the community, with 2,200 plus people in attendance and close to half a million views on the internet.
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is an ongoing tragedy in the country that we call home. Now it’s been revealed that direct disregard and negligence for residents led to these issues and many officials have resigned or been removed, the city of Flint needs the aid necessary to rebuild its community as a safe place for every man, woman, and child to live. Organizations like Ryan Coogler’s Blackout for Human Rights and events like #JUSTICEFORFLINT are the preliminary steps that must be taken in order to correct these problems and restore Flint, Michigan to a fully functioning community again.