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Black Panther Inspiration

Little Miss Flint takes on the world for her fellow peers

Yuri Cain, Managing Editor

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Flint is the largest city in Michigan and yet has the most problems since 2014. It was then that Michigan public officials decided that in an effort to save money, they would draw water from the Flint River instead of receiving water from Detroit. The plan was only supposed to be temporary but almost immediately, citizens started rightfully complaining about the characteristics of the water. Throughout 2015, the Flint water became a publicly known crisis leading to serious health issues. Even in 2017, Flint still did not have clean water leaving families in a devastating runt.

Mari Copeny, otherwise known as Little Miss Flint, is a young activist from Flint, Michigan. She is most popularly known for her letter to Barack Obama, the former president, asking him to come to Flint to see the conditions which he responded to, prompting a great meet up. She is also the youngest ambassador for the Women’s March, Climate March, and Equality for Her. For such a young girl, Copeny has accomplished so much, especially for her community. This time around, Copeny posted on social media that she was trying to raise money for the Flint children to see Black Panther. At the same time, she also asked people to send in encouraging letters for the kids that would be at the theater and for the rest of the school children.

“I think it was really great of [Mari Copeny] to do that for the students at her school. I wish someone at [Oak Hills High School] or other schools up here would do something like that,” says Garrion Bryant, a junior at OHHS who recently saw the movie.

In the beginning of her journey, not many letters were being sent in but soon enough the tweet went viral on Twitter. The tweet had 11.6K retweets and 10.5K likes with it reaching to worldwide Twitter users by February 13th, 2018. She had also passed her GoFundMe goal of $5,000 with a whopping $14,672 also by February 13th. This amount was raised by 591 people in the span of twenty days, when the campaign was first put up. The first donation was made by a fellow Flint citizen, Rochelle Woolum and from there the money continued to grow. As of February 20th, they have reached the goal of $16,446 and were able to send 150 Flint kids to see the movie, Black Panther on the 19th.

“I saw it on Twitter and actually liked the tweet. I hope it spread far enough for her to help all the kids she wanted to reach,” commented Sarah Monroe, a junior at OHHS who is active on Twitter.

Copeny was able to rent out a whole theater room, supply tee shirts, and provide tons of Black Panther based toys all for the Flint children. With 150 letters sent to children for encouragement, Copeny has also raised the bar to all children of Flint, not just in her school. Mari Copeny continues to be a great leader for the youth and amazes everyone with her devotion to bettering Flint and those who live there. There is no limit for her and she brings the best out of everyone.

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