Little Miss Flint, Mari Copeny, Honored at Billboard Music Awards
The youngest voice of Flint was center stage Sunday night at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. Mari Copeny, Little Miss Flint, became the first female and youngest person to receive the Billboard Music Awards' Changemaker Award, and she's only 14.
Copeny, who has been lovingly known as Little Miss Flint since day one, made a name for herself when she wrote a letter to then-President Barack Obama, asking him to visit her Flint to see the devastation caused by the lead contamination in her hometown's drinking water. As a result, Obama traveled to Flint on May 4, 2016, and met with Mari herself and in turn approved a $100 million in relief for the city of Flint.
Today at 14 years old, Copeny is known as an advocate for environmental justice and is using her voice to not only get adults to stand up for change but inspire other kids across the country to fight for a difference as well. That passion is exactly what led the Billboard Music Awards to honor Copeny at this year's ceremony.
Mari Copeny took the stage to receive the Changemaker Award before a packed house in Las Vegas. As the third person to receive this award, the first woman, and the youngest person, Copeny took advantage of the stage to have her voice heard.
"I advocate for the kids across America because people who look like me always get the short end of the stick," she said. Copeny called out the celebrities in attendance, saying, "The individuals in this room have the power to reach the world and reach millions. I challenge you to take action and do way more than just applaud this speech."
She also voiced her thoughts on the Roe vs Wade issue currently in the headlines saying,
"Some people in charge would rather spend their time to dictate what women can and can't do with their bodies. It's dangerous and also very weird."
The Changemaker honor is given to pop culture figures who speak truth to power through their commitment to individual action and leadership. The award was introduced at the BBMAs in 2020 according to Billboard's website.
As for Mari's plans for the future...she plans to run for president in 2044, the first presidential election after she turns 35.
“My generation will fix this mess of a government,” she says. “Watch us.”
Check out her acceptance speech below.