While rapper Common and singer Andra Day performed their Oscar nominated song, Stand Up for Something, a row of people standing behind them under dramatic lighting grabbed the attention of audiences worldwide.
The line of ‘heroes’ as Common called them, all have unique stories, including Nicole Hockley, mother of Dylan Hockley, who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Patrisse Cullors and the ‘Me Too’ movement founder Tarana Burke.
Thanks to all the heroes who joined us on stage at the #Oscars. Much love to Alice Brown Otter, Bana Alabed, Bryan Stevenson, Cecile Richards, Dolores Huerta, Janet Mock, José Andrés, Nicole Hockley, Patrisse Cullors + Tarana Burke. https://t.co/h0ijS58KcO pic.twitter.com/q8LaDX2usf— COMMON (@common) March 5, 2018
Among them was eight-year-old Syrian refugee Bana al-Abed. Al-Abed’s Twitter account received widespread attention when she started tweeting about the destruction and mayhem she experienced in her war-torn country.
She was living in Aleppo in 2016, and at the end of that year, managed to escape with her family and now resides in Turkey as a refugee.
Al-Abed advocates for Syrian children through her Twitter account which has over 350,000 followers, and writing where she had her first book ‘Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace’ published in 2017.
Bana also made an appearance in the Oscar nominated documentary ‘Last men of Aleppo’.