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Mari Copeny    

Youth Activist for Access to Clean Water; Known as "Little Miss Flint"

Born on July 6, 2007, Mari is now 12 years old and her young age has not prevented her from making a significant impact on the dialogue around environmental racism. In May of 2016, at the age of 8 years old, Mari wrote a letter to President Barack Obama challenging him to visit Flint, Michigan to see the crisis first hand. The letter was published in the Los Angeles Times and confronted the entire country with the reality faced by victims of state negligence. Her activism has led her to meet President Obama, President Clinton, President Trump and a host of other politicians including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and many more.

In 2017, Mari continued her dedication to justice by becoming a Youth Ambassador to Women’s March on Washington Youth and the National Climate March. She is also involved with the Boys and Girls Club and TSP Anti-bullying group. Her youthful honesty prevents political leaders from being able to ignore the consequences of neglectful leadership. She gives voice to the unheard hardships of Americans trapped by a collapsing and toxic infrastructure. She has taken her voice all the way to the front door of the White House to hold President 45 accountable for breaking his promise to Flint.

Mari has used her platform to not only bring awareness to her community but to give back. Mari has raised over $500,000 for her Flint Kids projects including backpacks stuffed with school supplies, Christmas toys, Easter baskets, movie screenings and has also given away over a million bottles of bottled water. Her Flint Kids Read initiative has gotten thousands of books into the hands of local children. Her Dear Flint Kids campaign has gotten in thousands of letters of encouragement for Flint Kids. She sits on the 2019 Kid Box Kids board of directors and has been involved with 18 x Eighteen (an initiative to get young people out to vote once they turn 18). She received the 2019 Shorty Award in Activism. She continues to make an impact on the kids in Flint.

Mari Copeny has been featured in Teen Vogue, The Guardian, VICE, TIME, Refinery 29, The Washington Post, NBC News, Rewire, Buzzfeed, and more for her vocal opposition to the injustices of environmental racism. When Mari grows up she plans on running for president.

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