Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay Raise Over $100,000 For Flint Water Crisis
While Janelle Monáe, Stevie Wonder, Jon Connor, Jesse Williams & Hill Harper moved the crowd.
The performances were rousing, the speeches were stirring and the funds were raised.
Ryan Coogler’s Blackout for Human Rights and Ava DuVernay, along with Janelle Monáe, Stevie Wonder and Flint resident Jon Connor provided the entertainment. Local students, activists and residents delivered the inspiration. And at the end of the #JUSTICEFORFLINT fundraiser benefit over $100,000 was raised to help with the Flint Water Crisis. (Donations are still being accepted via sending text messages of the word “Justice” to 83224; as of press time over $145,000 has ben raised)
Wonder was succinct with his critique of Michigan’s government, which induced the troubles by making a cost-saving decision to switch Flint’s water from a Detroit-based source to a local river that was known for being contaminated.
“If you come to my show and the music is off…the music director must be fired,” the Motown legend told the crowd; he later joined Monáe in a chant of Flint Lives Matters and Clean Water Matters.
The event was a mix of education and entertainment. Where Michigan artists, including Detroiters Royce Da 5’9″, Denaun Porter and Dej Loaf took the stage, as did Flint native Jon Connor and the Saginaw-born Wonder.
Vic Mensa premiered a new song, “16 Shots,” to honor the shooting of Chicago native Laquan McDonald. Prior to the track debut, the Roc Nation rapper performed one of his breakout hits, “U Mad,” but with a Flint-themed bent.
Vic Mensa Premieres “16 Shots,” Performs Flint Water Crisis Remix Of “U Mad”
“All the people that have power need to stand up and help your people more,” Porter said before his and Royce’s set. Royce ran through a number of his memorable tracks (“Boom”) and Dej Loaf did the same (“Try Me”).
Hill Harper pushed the audience to unite Latino and Black causes, to make a powerful majority voting bloc.
Musiq Soulchild, Jazmine Sullivan and Monáe melted hearts as they ignited minds.
Connor, Tef Poe and Jasiri X each were particularly muscular, with the former’s “Fresh Water For Flint” drawing cheers.
Many locals took the stage and recanted how their lives have been impacted by the poisoned water. There was stories of using multiple bottles of water to brush teeth, make oatmeal and bathe.
Watch the replay of the event below.