Celebrating Mari Copeny

Anya Souza-Ponce, Journalist

Amariyanna (Mari) Copeny is a 13-year-old activist from Flint, Michigan. Ever since 2014, Flint has been in a health crisis because the water supply is extremely contaminated and contains lead and bacteria. The problem started with a switch in water sources that weren’t properly prepared – from Lake Huron and the Detroit River which had been used for years, to the Flint River, which wasn’t cleaned properly. Now, after years of carrying contaminated water, the pipes in Flint had started to corrode and contained high levels of lead. In April of 2018, the former governor of Flint, Rick Snyder, ended programs giving clean water to the citizens of Flint. Even still, the water crisis is still a problem today. Mari has advocated for clean water and accessibility to all since 2015, beginning when she was just 8 years old. She’s met with President Obama and given numerous speeches, where she urges adults in power to help her community. She won the Shorty Award for Best Activism, and after her meeting with Obama in 2016the Federal Government granted the city of Flint $100,000,000 for repair of the pipes and water source. Even after Gov. Snyder of Flint stopped the programs to help water accessibility, Mari continued to pass out water bottles for a cleaner supply. She has inspired people everywhere with her fight to make a difference in the world, and for accessibility to all, not just a select few. Mari has also shown that kids can make a difference in the world, and if you see a problem, you should speak out for what you believe in and make the difference you want.