Interviews

“Little Miss Flint” Mari Copeny

Mari Copeny, also known as “Little Miss Flint”, is an activist, working to represent the people and children of Flint, Michigan. She started at just the age of 8, requested President Obama to come meet and check out the Flint water crisis. Now at 11 years old, Mari is still fighting for the people of Flint, doing fundraisers, passing out water, and encouraging education for the Flint kids.

Mari Copeny, also known as “Little Miss Flint”, is an activist, working to represent the people and children of Flint, Michigan. She started at just the age of 8, requested President Obama to come meet and check out the Flint water crisis. Now at 11 years old, Mari is still fighting for the people of Flint, doing fundraisers, passing out water, and encouraging education for the Flint kids.

BL: Mari, how did you become “Little Miss Flint”?

Mari: It was a title that I won at a local beauty pageant. Back then I thought I would use it as a platform to help kids view of our local police department.

BL: How did you meet President Obama?

Mari: I’ve met him twice. The first time he came to Flint because I wrote him a letter when we were heading to Washington DC for the congressional hearing about the water crisis. He came all the way to Flint because I wrote to him.  The second time he was in Michigan campaigning and I reached out to his team and they set it up so we could be reunited.

BL: Where does your passion for activism and community come from?

Mari: It is just something that has always come to me naturally. As a toddler I was helping out at the food banks with my grandma, we also used to do blessing boxes stuffed with items for families in need. The older I have gotten the more I want to help out my community.

BL: What advice would you give other kids that would want to help their own community?

Mari: You don’t have to have a huge following or a ton of money to help in your community. You can start small, you can help an elderly neighbor take out their trash or read to the smaller kids in your neighborhood.

BL: Can you talk about the importance of speaking up for what you believe in?

Mari: It is very important to speak about what you believe in because if you don’t, then you can’t expect anyone else to speak for you. Sometimes people need to hear why something is important to you because it may change their way of looking at certain issues.

BL: Do you find any challenges in your activism?

Mari: I always find challenges with my activism. I’m an 11-year old that is seen as not having my own ideas and opinions by a lot of adults that aren’t used to me. I am always told to stay in a child’s place and to stay in my lane. Making adults realize I am serious is the biggest challenge.

girl volunteering

BL: Do you have any other passions or interests?

Mari: Yes. I love to draw, especially anime. I love to read comic books. I love to cheer and tumble and spend several hours a week at the gym training and taking classes to improve.

BL: What do you like to do with your friends?

Mari: Most of my friends are on my Kid Squad that works all of my community service events, we love to give back. We love to go shopping, go to the movies, go to the trampoline park and just hang out. We also all LOVE to eat.

BL: Who are your role models?

Mari: I have a lot of role models. Some of my favorites are Dr. Bernice King (MLK Jr’s daughter), Yara Shahidi, and President Obama.

BL: What is the first thing you will do as President?

Mari: Make sure that clean water is something that every single American has. We spend too much money on the wrongs things without making sure everyone has water they can drink from the tap.

BL: What can we expect to see next from you?

Mari: I am working on a lot of projects. This year we will pass hit one million bottles of water donated to Flint. I am doing a book event in March to get even more books into the hands of Flint Kids. Dear Flint Kids will be starting back up soon to get even more letters of encouragement into the hands of Flint Kids.

BL: Top 5 things you can’t live without?

Mari:

  1. My cell phone
  2. My team
  3. My books
  4. Food
  5. Anime

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