One of the most impactful moments of the 2018 Oscars was Common and Andra Day’s performance of “Stand Up For Something,” which was nominated for “Best Original Song.” As the title indicates, the song is about “standing up against injustices,” and that’s why it was so beautifully fitting that the pair was joined onstage at the Oscars by a number of incredible, inspiring activists who stand up for the most important causes facing our country today.
Even Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood and badass feminist, was a little starstruck — by the incredible activists she shared the stage with, that is.
Not all of these activists are household names, so let’s get to know a little bit about each of them.
Mock is a transgender rights activist and the author of New York Times bestseller Redefining Realness, which details her transition.
Long before the days of hashtags, Burke started the Me Too movement in 2006 as a way to bring sexual violence survivors together and let them know they’re not alone. She remains a tireless advocate for the cause and currently serves as Senior Director at Girls For Gender Equity.
Huerta, 87, is an American labor leader and civil rights activist. She co-founded the National Farmworkers Association (which is now called the United Farm Workers). Over the years, Huerta has used her platform to promote the rights of women, immigrants, and exploited workers.
In addition to being an incredible chef, Andrés is chairman of LA Kitchen‘s advisory board. The non-profit is dedicated to reducing food waste, increasing access to nutritious food, and providing job training. Through his nonprofit World Central Kitchen, Andrés recently provided meals to residents of Puerto Rico and those displaced by the California wildfires.
As the director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson provides legal representation to those who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes and underprivileged prisoners who received ineffective representation during their trials.
al-Abed is only eight years old, but she’s already making an incredible difference in the world. The Syrian refugee used Twitter to bring attention to the crisis in Aleppo when the city was under siege. She’s earned praise from the likes of J.K. Rowling and Diane Warren, and released her first book last year.
Cullors, an artist and activist from Los Angeles, is the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement. She has also worked as the special projects director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the executive director of Coalition to End Sheriff Violence, and is an activist for the LGBTQ community.
In 2012, Hockley’s six-year-old son Dylan was murdered in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. As the co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise, Hockley works tirelessly to honor Dylan through action by advocating for gun control reform.
9Alice Brown Otter
Otter is a member of the Standing Rock Youth Council, which works to give a voice to native youth and provide them with the tools to break the barriers that have marginalized their communities.