Jessica Alba Introduces Alton Sterling's Son, Orlando Victims and Others Affected by Gun Violence During Teen Choice Awards
"We need to stop, heal and ask what's going on," Jessica Alba told the audience at the Teen Choice Awards Sunday night
Jessica Alba led an emotional tribute to victims of gun violence during the Teen Choice Awards Sunday evening in Los Angeles, taking the stage with Alton Sterling‘s son, victims from Orlando’s Pulse nightclub massacre and teen family members from tragedies including Newtown, Aurora and Dallas.
“Here with me tonight are a group of brave teenagers who share an unlikely bond that’s hard to comprehend,” said Alba, 35. “They are the brothers, sisters, daughters and family members of recent victims of gun violence: I’m talking about Aurora, Baton Rogue, Dallas, Minneapolis, Orlando, San Bernardino, Newtown.”
“It keeps happening, and it has to stop,” continued the actress. “Many of those impacted by these acts of violence are teens.”
The family members on stage then went on to introduce themselves, while Alba explained their relationship to the victim.
“J.T. was just like you, until he lost his 6-year-old little brother, Jesse Lewis, one of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown,” Alba said.
The group included three siblings who lost their brother during the Orlando nightclub shooting.
“They stand here now without their brother, Jason Josaphat, one of 49 innocent people taken from us in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting,” Alba said.
Two others who were wounded during the Orlando shooting and lost their cousin were also on stage, one using crutches.
Also present for the tribute was Alton Sterling‘s son Cameron.
“A few weeks ago Cameron’s world was turned upside down when he learned his father, Alton Sterling, was killed while selling CDs out of a store in Baton Rogue,” Alba said.
Several stars in the audience were moved by the emotional tribute, including Gina Rodriguez who was crying as people shouted “We love you,” at the teens on stage.
“Tonight we stand together with these teens, united in our call for peace and an end to this violence,” Alba continued. “Now, more than ever, we need to stop, feel and ask what’s going on.”
NE-YO went on to perform “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye.
“These teens had the courage to come here and share their grief and tonight all of us here need to do the same,” said an emotional Alba after the singer wrapped up his performance.
“We need to come together as one,” said NE-YO, 36. “If you feel as we do that we have to do better, I need you to stand up right now and take out your phones.”
The star instructed the audience to capture the moment and share it on social media, using the hashtag #StopTheViolence.