Mari Copeny: More Than A Pageant Queen

In the small town of Flint, Michigan, in 2016, one child sent a letter to Former President Barack Obama to advocate for environmental change in her community.

Unlike many other children growing up in America—she did not have clean water. Her name is Mari Copeny, also known as “Little Miss Flint.” However, she is so much more than a pageant queen.

When Mari was young, she participated in pageants, but as she grew and became more aware of her community needs, she became a young activist. Understanding that water & sanitation are human rights, Mari wrote to Obama, who worked with the Michigan state government to eradicate the issue. However, on Friday, April 24, 2020, it will have been six years since Flint had clean water. With this knowledge, Mari has continued fundraising, marching, or lending her voice to say this is not right.

Mari could not—and did not—wait for the “adults” to fix the situation. Using her social media networks, she fundraises for water bottles to be donated to her city and participates in Pack Your Back, an organization that donates school supplies to underserved children, and many other community projects for the children of Flint.

While she is making amazing strides in her community, we can all do our part to help those in Flint and across the world without access to clean water. Consider following Mari’s #WednesdaysForWater campaign highlighting places around the world that need clean water and donate to the cause. Or even sharing words of encouragement to the #DearFlintKids project. No matter how you help, keep an eye out for Mari as she sets out to change the world. 

Learn more about Mari Copeny and other Fearless Women at The Center. Experience how we’re more than a museum.

Showing 2 comments
  • Yoomika Prum

    Wouldn’t it be 4 years since it was in 2016 and it’s 2020 right now?

    • Torrie Shepard

      Hi Yoomika! Thanks for reading the post. Mari sent her letter to Former President Obama in 2016, however, they had been living with the lead-poisoned water for two years prior due to the change in water source from a treated plant to the Flint River. You can read more about it here: Thanks again and let us know what else you’d like to read about, or you can submit your own post by emailing us at [email protected]!

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