Michigan teenager honored at Billboard Music Awards for environmental activism – Advice Eating

FLINT, MI — Since she was eight, Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny has highlighted Flint’s environmental injustice and the impact of the water crisis on her and her neighbors.

Copeny’s community work, now 14, has grown immensely and has been recognized several times by state and national officials and organizations.

This time it’s the Billboard Music Awards.

TIED TOGETHER: ‘Little Miss Flint’ is honored by UCLA for activism against the Flint water crisis

Copeny, also known as Little Miss Flint, will be honored with the Changemaker Award at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 15.

The Billboard Music Awards Changemaker honor honors pop culture figures who speak truth to those in power through their commitment to individual action and leadership. They are socially conscious, politically conscious, ubiquitous in their community, and charitable with time, critical resources, and influence to improve the lives of others, the awards organization said.

“I’m thrilled to be recognized by the Billboard Music Awards for my community efforts and commitment to highlighting America’s water issues,” said Copeny. “I’m confident this will inspire others to fight for what’s right, even when no one else is looking.”

Copeny joins previous recipients including Trae The Truth and Killer Mike.

She first wrote to President Barack Obama in March 2016, urging him to visit the city to experience the water crisis firsthand.

The letter to the President prompted him to visit Flint and survey the devastation for himself, which eventually led to the approval of $100 million in federal aid to the city.

Her work in the Flint community and successful crowdfunding campaigns have enabled her to raise more than $250,000 and have distributed more than a million bottles of water to townspeople.

TIED TOGETHER: Little Miss Flint is giving away 1,000 backpacks to local kids

To date, she has raised more than $600,000 for her Flint Kids projects. These projects include giving out more than 17,000 backpacks filled with school supplies, hosting community film screenings, organizing annual holiday events to deliver thousands of toys, and countless other events centered around children in the city.

Highlights of Copeny’s work include:

  • Copeny partnered with water filtration company Hydroviv to donate and distribute their own high performance lead removal filters to families and child-focused organizations in Flint. Every dollar raised for their filter is equivalent to 160 bottles of water. To date, she has raised $627,000 for her filters and shipped them across the United States.
  • She was appointed to the US delegation to the 65th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, making her the youngest delegate ever elected.
  • Copeny is also a youth ambassador for the Women’s March on Washington, was a 2019 Board Chair of Kid Box and an active member of 18 x Eighteen, an initiative designed to get young people to vote when they turn 18. She is a member of the Michigan Department of Education’s Anti-Racism Advisory Board and a member of the Flint Youth Justice League, a Michigan State University advisory board that advises on issues related to the children of Flint.
  • Outside of her work in activism and giving back, Copeny is a varsity cheerleader and is running for Miss Michigan Teen USA in a few weeks.

The evening will be hosted by music mogul and global superstar Sean “DIDDY” Combs honors the best artists of the year on the Billboard charts in 62 categories across all genres of music. The BBMAs will be broadcast coast-to-coast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC and will be broadcast live on Peacock.

As previously announced, the 2022 Billboard Music Awards will honor Mary J. Blige with the Icon Award. Blige will perform that night alongside Burna Boy, Latto, Florence + The Machine, Maxwell, Megan Thee Stallion, Morgan Wallen, Rauw Alejandro, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Silk Sonic.

Read more from The Flint Diary:

This 11-year-old Michigan boy with autism is a ‘walking success story’

’40 under 40′ seeks nominations for emerging leaders, entrepreneurs and influencers in the Flint area

“Thank you Flint”: Popular Vietnamese restaurant MaMang is closing after nearly a decade

Six Flint heroines find a home at City Hall

A colorful array of murals brings beauty to downtown Michigan

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