The powerful reason a bunch of Hollywood stars are in Flint, Michigan, for Oscar night.

Did you hear about the other star-studded event happening Sunday night?

In Los Angeles, Hollywood is celebrating the 88th Academy Awards. But not every A-lister is in attendance at the Dolby Theatre — some are in Flint, Michigan, instead.


Singer Janelle Monae. Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images.

Several celebs made their way to Flint to throw a free concert for residents and to raise funds for the ongoing water crisis there.

The event, #JusticeForFlint, is presented by activist group Blackout for Human Rights and takes place at the city's Whiting Auditorium downtown.

Lots of big names are there, like the director of "Creed," Ryan Coogler.


Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images.


And "Grey's Anatomy's" Jesse Williams.


Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images.

The event is being hosted by funnyman Hannibal Buress...


Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

...and "Selma" director Ava DuVernay has also thrown her support behind the effort.

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

#JusticeForFlint's goal is to highlight the dire issue of the city's water crisis, a world away from the glitz and glamour of the Oscars.

What's happened in Flint is a downright disaster — and a completely preventable one at that.

After the city switched its water source to save money under the authority of the state of Michigan in 2014, lead began seeping into the city's waterways. What's most alarming, however, is that all the red flags raised by residents were dismissed.

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.

The crisis has led to calls for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to resign and brought the conversation of America's crumbling infrastructure — particularly in struggling cities and communities of color — into the spotlight.

That's why you could argue what's happening in Flint tonight is probably more important than who wins Best Picture.

As celebrities paraded down the red carpet in Hollywood, young people and activists were taking to the stage in Flint and sharing their stories.



It's incredibly powerful stuff, and though most people are tuning in to the Oscars tonight, the crisis in Flint is not one that should be so easily brushed from our minds.

You can help Flint by watching the event live here on Revolt TV and by texting JUSTICE to 83224 to donate $5 or by throwing your support behind the efforts to get more clean water to residents in need.

Because if any folks deserve justice, it's those in Flint.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less