Alex Mateo // The Photo Access/The World Access
Ava DuVernay is one of the big names who will be in Flint, Michigan this weekend instead of in Hollywood for the Oscars.
Her and fellow director Ryan Coogler will be at #JUSTICEFORFLINT holding a benefit fundraiser tomorrow (February 28 at 5:00 p.m. ET) hosted by Hannibal Buress, which will stream exclusively on www.revolt.tv/live.
Other expected performances and appearances include Janelle Monae, Ledisi, Andra Day, Vic Mensa, Jazmine Sullivan, Musiq Soulchild, Robert Glasper, Jesse Williams, Jussie Smollett, Jasiri X, Vic Mensa, and Detroit natives Royce da 5'9" and Denaun Porter, Flint native Jon Connor, Pastor Patrick Sanders of the New Jerusalem Full Gospel Baptist Church in Flint and more.
Ahead of the event the "Selma" director spoke with Katie Couric about the Flint water crisis and didn't hold back.
"I think its environmental racism, absolutely," she explained. "We wouldn’t have seen this problem if this was in a community with more voice.”
As for the benefit taking place adjacent to the Academy Awards, her answer had a sly reference to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
“I guess I can see how people are making the connection, but we didn’t have anything to do that night. We were free," DuVernay told Couric. "We are basically saying on this night, there are other things going on around issues of justice and dignity.”