Little Miss Flint, Mari Copney, will forever be seen as a fervent advocate for social change. When we first met Copney, she had taken up the call for a resolution to the Flint, MI water crisis. Now, five years later, the 12-year-old is still calling for resolution to the ongoing epidemic in her hometown, but she is also using her platform to call attention to other issues that are not only affecting her community but things that affect children nationwide.
Recently, the sixth-grade activist was named to the Board of Directors for New York City based, Kidbox. Kidbox takes the stress out of clothes shopping. They have assembled a team of industry pros that have created fun and unique outfits for kids and parents to discover together, with the mission of donating proceeds from purchases to help children in needy families, with a goal of clothing “over one million children.”
Copney is joined by 10 additional board members including Jahkil Jackson and Havana Chapman Edwards.
BET Digital caught up with Little Miss Flint to talk about her new project and more. Check out her interview in its entirety below. You will love what she had to say.
BET: What are you looking forward to most in working with KIDBOX?
Mari Copeny: At the end of this month I will be going to New York City to meet with the other kids for the director’s members as well as members of the Kid’s Bop Executive Team. For our kickoff day (July 31), we will get to participate in a kindness session on the importance of being kind to everyone. I hope to learn more about how I can continue to be kind to anyone and how to teach others that kindness is always in fashion and to always unite no matter what.
B: How has this crisis shaped your life and the lives of other Flint residents?
MC: The people here do not trust the water or trust the government officials that are supposed to keep us safe because so many of them failed us. People here are scared of the water coming from our tap and most are still using bottled water. Once our trust is lost, it’s hard to get back.
B: What were you really thinking in the viral photo of you meeting President Donald Trump? And what was your initial reaction when learning the photo had gone viral?
MC: The were a lot of people screaming at him, and the entire scene was overwhelming, back then I was not scared of him. When the photo first went viral, I used that as a chance to tell the world that Flint still isn’t safe, and that people here still need help. The photo still makes me laugh.
B: There’s a lot of presidential candidates looking to run and a lot of social issues to address as we gear up for the next election. Based on this post [see below], what are the tough questions you’d ask?
MC: Well, first I want every single candidate to agree to do a youth-led town hall. I personally want to know how they are going to fix this [water crisis], and not just Flint, but other cities that currently have water crises going on, too. I want to know what they are doing to keep kids safe and what they plan to do to get kids out of the cages at the border.
B: Can you share any tips for becoming a young advocate to other children that may want to follow in your footsteps?
MC: Even if it seems hard, or you are just scared to do it, the hardest part will always be getting people to listen because you are young, but you can do it and I will support you.
B: What do you want to be when you grow up?
MC: I want to be president in 2044.
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Yesterday was primary day in Flint. I always go with my mom to vote, this time i wore my @eighteenx18 #WeVoteNext shirt. one of the workers heard me say “it’s not fair, I have to wait until I’m 18 to vote” and she told me “I shouldn’t be rushing to vote” along with a few other rude comments. 6 years until i can vote unless they lower the voting age to 16. Until then I will keep on fighting
And we do not doubt that Mari will continue to fight for us all.