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Common and Andra Day weren’t the only ones on the Oscars stage during their performance of the nominated song “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall.
Ten activists joined them, all of whom were personally contacted by Common and Day.
Much Love to all the heroes that joined Andra Day + I on stage. pic.twitter.com/k9RIVNhMe5
— COMMON (@common) March 5, 2018
Common tweeted a list of the activists, which included representatives from Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, the #MeToo movement, Sandy Hook Promise and more.
“If it’s one thing I learned from being a part of Selma it’s that an activist is someone who lives their life for what they believe in and works for that cause every day,” Common said in a statement prior to tonight’s show. “The activists we asked to join us onstage are people who have dedicated their lives to making the world better. For some because their own personal experiences have driven them to this place, and some because they’ve seen the injustices going on in the world and felt they had to take action.”
Day added that she was “truly honored to share the stage with such powerful people.”
“Common and I wanted to show people who are working every day in the trenches to transform perceptions, circumstances, legislation, social and political landscapes, and bring hope to the hopeless,” Day said.
Dave Chappelle introduced the duo, also paying tribute to Marshall‘s subject, the first black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, whom he called a “true civil rights legend and a personal hero” of his.
Common referenced numerous political issues throughout the performance and his introductory spoken word piece, including “Tell the NRA, they’re in God’s way.”
Learn more about the activists below.
Al-abed is an eight-year-old Syrian Refugee who is known for regularly tweeting about the siege of Aleppo, and her recently released book Dean World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace.
Andres is a chef who helped feed Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and author of We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time.
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) March 5, 2018
Burke is a civil rights activist and founder of the #MeToo movement, which aims to stop sexual violence.
Cullors co-founded the Black Lives Matter movement and started a grassroots group — Dignity and Power Now — that fights for incarcerated people, their families, and communities.
Hockley is the managing director at Sandy Hook Promise, an organization formed to stop gun violence after the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where one of the victims was her son Dylan Hockley.
Huerta is a civil rights activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers.
Mock is a transgender activist who founded #GirlsLikeUs to empower trans women. She’s also written two books and was the first trans woman of color to write and produce for television with Ryan Murphy’s Pose.
Alice Brown Otter
Otter is 14-years-old and gained recognition when she ran 1,519 miles from Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to Washington, D.C. to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Tonight and always, proud to stand up for a future where every woman—no matter her race, income, geography, sexual orientation, disability, or immigration status—can access affordable health care, including reproductive health care, without judgment, shame, or stigma. #Oscars
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) March 5, 2018
Richards was the president of Planned Parenthood for more than 12 years, who continues to advocate for women’s causes.
Stevenson is a lawyer, social justice advocate and founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which aims to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment, confront racial inequality and more.
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