More voices join #OscarsSoWhite outrage
Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee are among some of the people who will be boycotting this year’s Academy Awards because of the lack of diversity in the nominees. For the second year in a row, the Academy has nominated only white performers in all of the acting categories. Actors George Clooney and actress Lupita Nyong’o have added their voices to the criticism; Nyong’o shared her disappointment at the “lack of inclusion” in an Instagram post. The Oscar-winning actress said that she “[stands] with [her] peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who tell them.”
Flint, Michigan water crisis continues
President Obama signed emergency legislation that will provide relief in the recovery efforts in Flint, Michigan. The measure will allow up to $5 million in federal relief to residents who have been exposed to high levels of lead in their tap water. The water in Flint became contaminated after the city switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River. The water was corrosive and not properly treated which caused lead to from old pipes to make its way into resident’s homes. Governor Rick Snyder has come under fire for his handling of what is now one of the worst man-made American disasters in history.
Campaign to oust Mayor Rahm Emanuel intensifies
A protester interrupted the U.S. Conference of Mayors press conference in Washington, D.C. to bring attention to the shooting of unarmed black teen, Laquan McDonald, and to call for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s resignation. April Goggins stood in front of the podium holding a sign that read, “16 Shots & A Cover Up #LaquanMcDonald #RESIGNRAHM.” This came days after protests occurred at the mayor’s Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Breakfast. Demonstrators stood outside of Emanuel’s ceremony shouting, “Shame on you!” and blocking the entrance. Several ministers boycotted the breakfast, and protests continued inside the event space with one woman shouting, “16 shots and a cover up!” Reverend Matthew Ross later shouting the same chant during a musical performance.