Awards Justice for Flint: These Stars Skipped the Oscars to Rally for Michigan City Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae and more flocked to Flint, Michigan, to raise money By Jeff Nelson Jeff Nelson Instagram Twitter Jeff Nelson is the Senior News Editor, Entertainment at PEOPLE. For nearly a decade, he has worked across the brand's entertainment verticals, reporting on breaking news and writing and editing across platforms, as well as securing A-list cover exclusives, including Barry Manilow's coming out and an at-home interview with Madonna. Jeff has appeared as an expert on Good Morning America, Extra, HLN and SiriusXM, as well as at RuPaul's DragCon as a moderator. He studied magazine journalism at Drake University, graduating with a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 29, 2016 01:05 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Photo: Getty (2) While celebrities gathered in Hollywood for the 88th Academy Awards Sunday night, entertainers who decided to forgo the awards ceremony joined forces halfway across the country for a benefit in Flint, Michigan. Creed director Ryan Coogler, director Ava DuVernay, comedian Hannibal Buress, actor Jesse Williams and more banded together at the Justice for Flint event, which with performances by Janelle Monae and Stevie Wonder aimed to raise $100,000 for those affected by the devastating water contamination crisis. With his activist collective Blackout for Human Rights, Coogler helped organize the event, which he said took place on Sunday not out of rebellion against the Oscars but in celebration of Black History Month. “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,” told BuzzFeed ahead of the event. During the benefit, a slew of celebrities – from Sean Diddy Combs to Audra McDonald – took to Twitter to support the cause. Justice for Flint was just the latest benefit held for the Michigan town. On Feb. 21, a group of Flint natives – including jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater – put on a charity concert in Beverly Hills.