Luminaries from sports, film, radio and the letters star in a video posted on YouTube that supports Oakland, Calif., teachers who went on strike Thursday demanding higher pay, lower class sizes and more nurses and other resources for schools. They are also calling for an end to school closings and a stop to unfettered charter school expansion.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali and rap pioneer and preacher MC Hammer are just some of the people in the video, which is anchored by Oakland native Rafael Casal, an actor, poet and filmmaker.
Casal says in the video that teachers went on strike for “four simple things:” a livable wage, smaller classes, more support staff for students and an “end to the district’s plan to close 24 of its 86 schools in predominantly black and Latinx neighborhoods.”
Casal says the plan to close schools is “a complete and outright assault on Oakland families — and above all else, they don’t even have to do it!”
Casal, along with Daveed Diggs, also an Oakland native and a member of the original “Hamilton” cast on Broadway, co-wrote, co-produced and starred in the 2018 film "Blindspotting, which transpires in Oakland, where they grew up together.
Here’s the video, and below is a longer list of people who appear.
Along with Curry, Casal, Ali, Hammer and Diggs, these are some of the people in the video: comedian W. Kamau Bell; screenwriter and playwright Chinaka Hodge; singer-songwriter Fantastic Negrito; actors Jasmine Cephas Jones, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Janina Gavankar; radio personalities Sana G, DC is Chillin, G Biz and Chuy Gomez; and poet and filmmaker Boots Riley.