Update, February 29, 12:01 p.m. ET:
As of this update, #JUSTICEFORFLINT raised $139,400 from more than 3600 donations. Stay tuned for photos and footage from last night’s event!
Before you watch the Oscars tonight (or don’t, as most of you indicated that you are skipping them), you can watch Blackout for Human Rights’ #JUSTICEFORFLINT concert. Click here to access Revolt TV’s livestream of the star-studded event.
The benefit concert starts at 5 p.m. ET. It will raise funds for people in the predominantly Black Michigan city of Flint who drank, cooked with, bathed in and cleaned their homes with lead-tainted tap water for about two years. You can text JUSTICE to 83224 to donate now.
Flint residents started receiving brown, foul-smelling tap water in April 2014 after a cost-cutting “emergency manager” switched the city’s water source from the safe Detroit system to the highly polluted Flint River. A number of officials, including Snyder, allegedly knew that the water was toxic, but did not switch the source. After Flint’s new mayor declared a state of emergency, there were local and national calls for the governor to resign or go to jail.
Ingesting lead can negativey impact the health of people of all ages, but kids who consume lead face a laundry list of health problems, including learning delays and hearing loss. Pregnant women who ingest lead are more likely to have premature babies and their infants are at a higher risk for low birth rate, lower IQs and developmental delays.
#JUSTICEFORFLINT will air on Revolt TV, live from Flint’s Whiting Auditorium. Hannibal Buress will host with appearances and performances from the likes of Janelle Monaé, Andra Day, Ledisi, Robert Glasper, Vic Mensa, Musiq Soulchild, Jesse Williams, Jussie Smollett, Royce da 5’9, Denaun Porter and Flint-based Pastor Patrick Sanders.
#JUSTICEFORFLINT was organized by Blackout founder and “Creed” director Ryan Coogler, along with fellow Blackout founding member and “Selma” director Ava DuVernay. ”The poisoning that is happening in Flint is one of the most egregious human rights violations in American history,” DuVernay said in a press statement. “Blackout for Human Rights stands with all those affected by the water crisis, and is committed to supporting efforts on the ground to find sustainable, long-term solutions and, most importantly, achieve justice for the people of Flint.”
Local groups co-sponsoring the event include Michigan Faith In Action, Flint Democracy Defense League, Concerned Clergy of Flint and Genesee County Hispanic/Latino Collaborative. National sponsors include Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Color of Change, All Def Digital, ARRAY, Sankofa.org, NY Justice League, M.A.D.E. and PICO National Network. Colorlines is also one of the partners.
Check out the livestream here, and text JUSTICE to 83224 to donate to #JUSTICEFORFLINT.