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Justice For Flint: Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay organize fundraiser on Oscar night

By Wade Sheridan   |   Feb. 29, 2016 at 8:20 AM
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FLINT, Mich., Feb. 29 (UPI) -- Directors Ryan Coogler and Ava DuVernay organized a fundraiser Oscar Sunday, to help raise money for those affected by the devastating water contamination crisis in Flint, Mich.

Dubbed #JusticeForFlint, the charity event looking to raise $100,000 was presented by Coogler's activist group, Blackout for Human Rights, and was hosted by comedian Hannibal Buress.

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"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," Coogler said to BuzzFeed ahead of the event.

The director missed attending the Oscars for the event in which his film Creed was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for star Sylvester Stallone.

DuVernay was quick to deny however that #JusticeForFlint took place on Oscar Sunday on purpose in light of the recent ongoing #OscarsSoWhite conversation surrounding Hollywood. "A lot of these people care nothing about these Oscars and it's not their world," she said to The Hollywood Reporter about the event's organizers.

"It happens to be me and Ryan's world. When it came up that this was a possible date it felt wrong to say, 'No, guys. Let's not do this date because there's something happening in L.A.'"

The event featured musical performances from Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, Estelle, Vic Mensa, Jazmine Sullivan and Musiq Soulchild.

"The reality is we all need water. That's a human right," Wonder said onstage during his surprise performance.

"And it should be clean water! One requires accountability. If it goes down bad, someone's gotta go," he continued, calling for the resignation of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

As the show ended, the performers and organizers gathered onstage together to chant "Clean our pipes!" and 'Flint Lives matter!"

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