Born on July 6, 2007, Mari is now 13 years old and her young age has not
prevented her from making a significant impact on the dialogue around
environmental racism. In May of 2016, at the age of 8 years old, Mari wrote a
letter to President Barack Obama challenging him to visit Flint, Michigan to see
the crisis first hand. The letter was published in the Los Angeles Times and
confronted the entire country with the reality faced by victims of state negligence.
Her activism has led her to meet President Obama, President Clinton, President
Trump and a host of other politicians including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders
and many more.
In 2017, Mari continued her dedication to justice by becoming a Youth
Ambassador to Women’s March on Washington Youth and the National Climate
March. She is also involved with the Boys and Girls Club and TSP Anti-bullying
group. Her youthful honesty prevents political leaders from being able to ignore
the consequences of neglectful leadership. She gives voice to the unheard
hardships of Americans trapped by a collapsing and toxic infrastructure. She has
taken her voice all the way to the front door of the White House to hold President
45 accountable for breaking his promise to Flint.
Mari has used her platform to not only bring awareness to her community but to
give back. Mari has raised over $500,000 for her Flint Kids projects including
backpacks stuffed with school supplies, Christmas toys, Easter baskets, movie
screenings and has also given away over a million bottles of bottled water. Her
Flint Kids Read initiative has gotten thousands of books into the hands of local
children. Her Dear Flint Kids campaign has gotten in thousands of letters of
encouragement for Flint Kids. She sits on the 2019 Kid Box Kids board of
directors and has been involved with 18 x Eighteen (an initiative to get young
people out to vote once they turn 18). She received the 2019 Shorty Award in
Activism. She continues to make an impact on the kids in Flint.
Mari Copeny has been featured in Teen Vogue, The Guardian, VICE, TIME,
Refinery 29, The Washington Post, NBC News, Rewire, Buzzfeed, and more for
her vocal opposition to the injustices of environmental racism. When Mari grows
up she plans on running for president.