Amariyanna Copeny

Little Miss Flint


Brithany Nicolas, President/ Editor-in-Chief

On April 25, 2014, the City of Flint, Michigan, switched its municipal water supply source from Detroit-supplied Lake Huron water to the Flint River. Water distribution pipes corroded as a result of the switch, allowing lead and other contaminants to leach into the municipal drinking water. Despite the fact that the city reconnected to its original water system the following month, the potential damage had already been done.

Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, also known as “Little Miss Flint,” is a young African-American activist who raised awareness about the Flint water crisis. In March 2016, at only eight years old, she wrote a letter to the United States President of the time, Barack Obama. This letter induced Obama to see the situation in the city with his own eyes and later resulted in his approving 100 million dollars in relief funds for the city. Copeny had no idea that this simple letter would change the lives of many in her community and her own for the better.

Mari Copeny has used the platform that she has been given to change the world for the better. She has raised over 250 thousand dollars to give away over a million bottles of water. She also joined forces with a company named Hydroviv to produce her own water filter, which is shipped all over the country for people that are affected by contaminated water. But Copeny did not just stop there; she broadened her horizons. She has distributed over 17,000 school-supply-filled backpacks and many other products centered around the children in her community. She also works with Eighteen x 18, which is a creative platform to motivate this generation to speak their truths and vote, and is part of many other projects.

Amariyanna Copenny is the perfect illustration of never being too young to speak out and make a change. Being young does not mean that an impact cannot be made. She continues to confront what she believes is not right and to change it for the better. She tries to give a voice to the ones who are hidden, and that is extremely beneficial to the society that we live in today.