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2015 Sundance Institute Celebration Benefit

Source: Michael Tran / Getty

The Academy Awards will be taking place this Sunday, and they have caused quite the controversy over the past month.  This is the second year in a row that zero black actors have been nominated in the acting categories.  Many in the industry have been outspoken about their alternate plans for Oscar night.

The director of Selma, Ava DuVernay, was the first African-American woman to be nominated for best director at last year’s Oscars.  DuVernay announced that she will not be attending the Oscars but instead she will be visiting Flint, Michigan, where majority of Flint’s residents are African-American.  DuVernay says she will join the Blackout for Human Rights #JusticeForFlint benefit, to show support to those affected by the water crisis.

DuVernay will be joined in Flint by Creed director, Ryan Coogler.  Coogler told BuzzFeed News, “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.”  The benefit will live stream, so people from around the world will be able to donate to programs that will benefit the youth of Flint.  The date of the event is set for the last weekend of Black History month, despite rumors it was intentionally set for Oscar night.

Comedian Hannibal Buress will be hosting the #JusticeForFlint benefit.  Actor Jesse Williams, and singer Janelle Monae will also be in attendance.  The benefit will stream live on at 5:30pm ET on Sunday.  You can read more on the topic here.