Today, clean water activist and BRICKS cover star Mari Copeny, better known as Little Miss Flint, smashes her $200,000 clean water fund set last August. Hosted on GoFundMe, the fund is partnered with socially-responsible water filtration company Hydroviv to provide state-of-the-art water filters to communities in need. It’s a cause that hits close to home for Copeny, who lives in Flint, Michigan and was only eight years old when the city’s water was poisoned in 2014.
The Flint Water Crisis began when the drinking water source for the city was changed from pre-treated water from Detroit to the Flint River and treated in the Flint Water Treatment Plant. As we now know, the treatment plant was not equipped with the proper equipment to treat the water, and the river water damaged the pipes allowing lead and bacteria to poison the water. Outrageously, both local officials and the media claimed the water was safe and discounted and discredited residents concerns for months. It would later be declared by The Michigan Civil Rights Commission that the poor governmental response to the Flint crisis was a “result of systemic racism.”
It was ultimately the determined, relentless efforts of the Flint community members such as Copeny that forced a reckoning over how such a scandal could have been allowed to happen. Now 12, Copeny is extending her activism work beyond her hometown community, offering aid to Newark, NJ, Pittsburg, PN and New York City, all of which have suffered their own water crises.