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Ryan Coogler hosting star-studded Flint benefit on Oscars night

Creed director Ryan Coogler is hosting a star-studded benefit, featuring the likes of Janelle Monae and Hannibal Buress, to support victims of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan on Oscars night (28Feb16).
Residents of the city have been unable to use their water supplies since 2014 due to pollution in a local river, and many celebrities, including Beyonce, Madonna, Cher, Mark Wahlberg and Eminem, have offered aid to those affected.
And now the filmmaker is lending his support by staging a free public event, called #JUSTICEFORFLINT, which he is presenting in conjunction with his activist collective Blackout for Human Rights. The alliance consists of filmmakers, artists, activists and citizens working to address human rights violations in the United States.
In addition to R&B star Monae and comedian Buress, other performers will include Empire’s Jussie Smollett, singers Ledisi, Andra Day, Musiq Soulchild, and hip-hop artists Jasiri X and Vic Mensa, while Selma director Ava DuVernay and Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams will also make appearances.
The event will be live streamed on Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ TV network Revolt’s website, and viewers will be able to make donations to help victims of the water crisis online.
“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 tells BuzzFeed. “Through the live stream we will also give a chance for people around the world to participate, and to donate funds to programs for Flint’s youth.”
And while Coogler is rooting for Creed star Sylvester Stallone to win Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards the same night, he insists the overlap was a coincidence, as they chose 28 February because it fell on the final weekend of Black History Month.
Coogler was one of the African-Americans activists feel was snubbed for an Oscar nomination this year (Jan16). The Academy voters came under fire last month for failing to nominate black actors and filmmakers for top awards for the second year running.

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