Clean Water Action's observation of Black History Month continues as we illuminate remarkable individuals whose impact has not only influenced history but also motivates us to pursue a brighter future.
Today, it is our privilege to recognize 16-year-old Mari Copeny, an activist, philanthropist, and “future president.” Her boldness shines through in a declaration on her website - “My generation will fix this mess of a government. Watch us.” And with her willpower and determination, she is leading the charge.
Mari stands at the forefront of confronting America's water crisis directly, empowering children (and adults alike) to embrace their potential through equal opportunities. Her unwavering commitment to clean water exemplifies the essence of this month of commemoration and introspection.
We are grateful that Mari kindly accepted our nomination to be acknowledged by Clean Water Action during Black History Month for her incredible work on our national stage. Mari's impressive accomplishments, dedication, and drive to create change set her apart confirming that she is a Clean Water Champion!
Most well known as “Little Miss Flint” - Mari Copeny first gained national attention in 2016, when at the age of 8, the LA Times published a letter she wrote to President Obama challenging him to visit Flint, Michigan. The letter sparked an urgent dialogue around the clean water crisis and environmental racism that was impossible to ignore, ultimately leading to meetings with Presidents Obama and Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and spotlights by TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, NBC News, and VICE. In the wake of her note to President Obama, her work in the community and successful crowdfunding campaigns have allowed her to distribute over 1M bottles of water to Flint residents, raise over $500K for her ‘Flint Kids’ projects to place thousands of books into the hands of local children, and distribute backpacks filled with supplies to school-age youth. In addition, she has partnered with water filter company Hydroviv to donate and distribute high-capacity lead removal filters to families and child-centric organizations in Flint.
Mari was named to the U.S. Delegation to the 65th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. She is the youngest delegate ever selected to the UN Commission. She’s also a Youth Ambassador to the Women’s March on Washington and the National Climate March, sits on the board of directors for Kid Box, and is an active member of 18 x Eighteen, an initiative to get young people to vote once they turn 18. She also received the Shorty Award in Activism and was recognized as the 2022 Billboard Music Awards Change Maker of the Year at just 14 years old, making her the youngest and first woman recipient of the award.
Mari most recently interviewed President Joe Biden for Vox Media's NowThis Presidential Forum and was named to the Ebony Power 100 Generation Next list for 2022 as well as the Black Enterprise 40 Under 40 2022 list.
Thank you, Mari for your commitment to clean water. Stay tuned - Mari will soon be a guest on Clean Water's podcast, We All Live Down Stream.
Congratulations Mari Copeny, you are a Clean Water Champion!
Learn more about Mari Copeny HERE!