Earlier this month, director Ava DuVernay was gifted a plaque while filming her upcoming Netflix series, Central Park Five, in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx. The token of appreciation was presented by Bronx resident Jimmy Gary Jr. (affectionately called "the mayor of the block") on behalf of the community for DuVernay's efforts in telling the story of five young Black men wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in 1989.
DuVernay's passion for prison reform has reverberated throughout her directorial career in projects like 13th, her film about the history of racial inequality in the U.S. penal system, and Queen Sugar, her show that touches upon how incarceration affects entire families. Tonight, DuVernay will continue her efforts in raising awareness about prison reform during TIDAL X: BROOKLYN, the fourth annual benefit concert for criminal justice reform that donates to Innocence Project, Equal Justice Initiative, REFORM, and other non-profit organizations.
Last year's TIDAL X: BROOKLYN concert donated proceeds to victims of recent natural disasters that struck Miami and Houston in 2017.
During the concert at Barclays Center, DuVernay will be honoring Tommie Smith, the 1968 Olympic gold medal winner who famously rose his hand in a fist in solidarity with the Black Power movement. In addition to DuVernay, Senator Cory Booker, Angie Martinez, and Angela Rye will be speaking.
"I try to use my voice as powerful as I can and as impactful as I can," Martinez, the Power 105.1 radio host who will serve as the event's host, told NEWS12. "There are people sitting in jail that shouldn't be—that should bother people."
Musical performances include Ms. Lauryn Hill, Anderson.Paak, Nick Jonas, Normani, Teyana Taylor, Lil’ Kim, and many more. One hundred percent of net ticket proceeds and donations from the concert will support the aforementioned organizations.
Fans can also tune into the live stream at 8 PM on TIDAL.