June 29, 2022

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Mari Copeny Urges Celebs to Battle For Change in BBMAs Speech

Mari Copeny acquired the changemaker award on the 2022 Billboard Music Awards on Could 15. The environmental-justice advocate is simply 14 years previous. Copeny, who can be known as Little Miss Flint as a result of her efforts started throughout the lead-pipe disaster in her hometown of Flint, MI, is simply the third particular person to obtain this award, the primary girl, and the youngest particular person.

Teyana Taylor launched Copeny, who accepted her award with laughter and a giant smile. She thanked her household and pals and most of all the youngsters in Flint who she mentioned encourage her to proceed to struggle.

Copeny additionally addressed the leaked SCOTUS opinion that may overturn Roe v. Wade. “Some individuals in cost would quite spend their time to dictate what girls can and might’t do with their our bodies,” she mentioned. “It is harmful and in addition very bizarre.”

Copeny continued, “Elected officers and judges are in place to assist residents and repair wrongs. When authorities priorities are misguided, we should communicate out. There isn’t a time to attend.”

“I advocate for the youngsters throughout America as a result of individuals who seem like me at all times get the brief finish of the stick,” she defined. Copeny known as out the celebrities in attendance, saying, “The people on this room have the facility to achieve the world and attain thousands and thousands. I problem you to take motion and do far more than simply applaud this speech.”

Billboard says the award “is given to popular culture figures who communicate reality to energy by way of their dedication to particular person motion and management.” The primary award was given in 2020 amid the protests following the homicide of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

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Copeny first acquired nationwide consideration when, in 2016, at simply 8 years previous, she wrote a letter to then-President Barack Obama in regards to the water disaster in Flint. The letter was a part of what sparked Obama to lastly go to town, and he in the end permitted $100 million in reduction for town.

Copeny wasn’t glad with that, nevertheless. She continues to agitate for motion round Flint’s water disaster. This April, she posted her annual reminder that Flint has been with out clear water since April 24, 2014. “One other 12 months with out clear water. Over half my life,” she wrote. Based on Nice Lakes Now, as of 2021, town had changed simply over 100,000 pipes and town considers itself within the ultimate phases, however many Flint residents won’t ever belief the municipal water once more.

Copeny has widened her efforts to cowl not simply the water disaster in her hometown but additionally the results of all authorities negligence, collapsing infrastructure, and environmental racism broadly.

In 2020, Copeny spoke to POPSUGAR about what retains her going years after she first obtained concerned in activism. She defined, “Understanding that I’m not sitting round and ready for the federal government to repair it helps to maintain me going. Understanding that I made a decision to not wait till I grew as much as face the issue head-on and providing an answer to these dwelling with poisonous water proper now. I do know that I’m altering lives all throughout our nation.”

She additionally emphasised the significance of adults listening to younger individuals, saying, “It is time to give the youth a seat on the desk. It is time to take heed to us, study from us, and observe our lead. Please cease telling us we do not know what we’re speaking about as a result of we’re children. Most often we’re combating for our lives and our future.”

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