During a powerful performance of “Stand Up For Something” from Marshall, Andra Cay and Common were joined by a team of activists on the Oscars stage Sunday night (March 4) to send out an important message.
The song has become an empowerment anthem over the past few months from the Los Angeles Women’s March to soundtracking the calls for gun violence prevention and immigrant rights. But at the Oscars, Common and Day wanted to shine a light on a group of 10 activists to bring attention to the issues they support.
“If it’s one thing I learned from being a part of ‘Selma’ is that, an activist is someone who lives their life for what they believe in and works for that cause everyday,” Common said in a statement before the show according to the Los Angeles Times. “The activists we asked to join us on stage 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.”
Added Day: “I am truly honored to share the stage with such powerful people. People who work, sacrifice and have fought through their personal pain to make the world a better place. … Common and I wanted to show people who are working everyday in the trenches to transform perceptions, circumstances, legislation, social and political landscapes, and bring hope to the hopeless.”
The pair’s collaborator, legendary songwriter Diane Warren said, “The song has resonated with so many different groups that to literally have them represented on the stage … what an amazing honor.”
The group included representatives from Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. Check out a few of the activists below.
I am happy to add Syria voice to the #Oscars stage with @common & @AndraDayMusic @OsopePatrisse @TaranaBurke @DoloresHuerta @CecileRichards @ChefJoseAndres @NicoleHockley, Bryan Stevenson & Alice Brown Otter. pic.twitter.com/Xz0L4qsA1s
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) March 5, 2018
Al-abed is 8-year-old Syrian Refugee, who gained national attention for tweeting about the siege of her city. Al-abed released a powerful book Dean World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace last Fall.
It was an honor to share the #Oscars stage with @common and @AndraDayMusic, real-life heroes @JanetMock @TaranaBurke @DoloresHuerta @ChefJoseAndres @eji_org @AlAbedBana @CecileRichards @NicoleHockley & Alice Brown Otter. #StandUpForSomething
— patrisse cullors (@OsopePatrisse) March 5, 2018
Cullors is the founder of Dignity and Power Now, an organization that fights for incarcerated people, their families and communities, and a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Honored to join #Common #AndraDay and a prestigious group of activists & social justice warriors for a performance of “Stand Up for Something” at the 90th Academy Awards!#ThurgoodMarshall#metoo #StandUpForSomething#SiSePuede
@doloresthemovie@Dolores_Movie #90thOscars pic.twitter.com/IsSnUnMlqq
— Dolores Huerta (@DoloresHuerta) March 5, 2018
Huerta is the president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of the United Farm Workers, the nation’s first enduring and largest farm workers union.
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 has been the president of Planned Parenthood for the past 12 years, fighting for affordable health care for women and their families.
Thank you brother!!! https://t.co/qQZvjdv4Su
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) March 5, 2018
Andres is a Puerto Rican chef who flew to Puerto Rico days after hurricane Maria to help cook over 1 million meals for the victims of the disaster. He is the author of We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time.
— Nicole Hockley (@NicoleHockley) March 5, 2018
Hockey is the managing director at Sandy Hook Promise, an organization aimed at stopping gun violence. She is the mother of Sandy Hook victim Dylan Hockley.
An honor to share the #Oscars stage with @common & @AndraDayMusic as well as real-life heroes @OsopePatrisse @TaranaBurke @DoloresHuerta @CecileRichards @ChefJoseAndres @AlAbedBana @NicoleHockley & Bryan Stevenson of @eji_org & Alice Brown Otter. #StandUpForSomething pic.twitter.com/d1nzqv4qrO
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) March 5, 2018
Mock is an author and the first trans woman of color to write and produce for television for her TV shows Pose, and the founder of #GirlsLikeUs
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) March 5, 2018
Burke is the founder of the #MeToo movement, which aims to stop sexual violence. Burke is also a civil rights activist, who works to fight racial injustice.
Alice Brown Otter
Otter is a 14-year-old who gained recognition while working with the Standing Rock and the #NoDAPL movement. The teen ran 1,519 miles from Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to Washington, D.C. to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Stevenson is an author and the director of the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization that works for those wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced.