Little Miss Flint Takes Her Fight For Clean Water To The Women's March On Washington

At 9, she'll be one of the youngest people at the largest inauguration demonstration in modern history.

On Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn into office. Inauguration ceremonies are symbolically important for the peaceful transfer of power, but the inauguration is arguably the lesser of two significant events that weekend. The day after Trump becomes president, there will be an estimated 250,000 people flooding the streets of the capital for what is set to be the largest inauguration demonstration in American history. 

First conceived by retired attorney and grandmother from Hawaii, Teresa Shook, the Women's March on Washington grew from a small Facebook event to a nationally organized movement encompassing a broad intersection of causes — including reproductive rights, ending racial policing, and environmental justice — led by a diverse group of female activists. And with more than 600 sister marches across the globe from Nairobi to Sydney, the Women's March on Jan. 21 has evolved into a massive international protest. 


Among the many bright sparks serving as youth ambassador to the Women's March on Washington is Amariyanna "Mari" Copeny, better known as Little Miss Flint. Mari went viral last year first for her animated hug with President Obama when he was in Flint, Michigan to address the ongoing water crisis, and then later her seemingly contrasting response to being hugged by then-candidate Trump, which she later used to raise awareness about the Flint Water Crisis

At 9 years old, Mari is the event's youngest youth ambassador. She has been using her elevated platform to speak about the issues she cares about, her priority being the still-contaminated water in Flint that exposed thousands of residents to lead poisoning.

The water in Flint has been tainted ever since the city switched its water source from nearby Lake Huron to Flint River in Apr. 2014. Residents began noticing the change in odor, taste, and color of their water in the shower and from their taps, and local doctors noticed an uptick in symptoms of lead poisoning like hair loss and rashes in children. 

State officials continued to insist for months that the water was safe to drink until Dec. 2015, when the city declared an emergency. 

More than a year later and Flint still has not been able to provide their residents with clean water. In her efforts to end water contamination for her community, Mari will be marching alongside the hundreds of thousands of people in D.C., each fighting for their respective causes that ultimately pave a path towards equality and justice. 

"This is why I march: because my hometown has been without clean water for almost 1,000 days," Mari said in a video she posted on Twitter. "Clean water is a human right for everybody."

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