‘Little Miss Flint’ to be honored by UCLA for activism against water crisis in Flint

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FLINT, MI – A young Flint water crisis activist should be recognized for his efforts for environmental justice and clean, safe water at a prestigious gala.

UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability must pay tribute to Amariyanna Copeny, also known as “Little Miss Flint,” for her work in support of environmental justice and clean water and healthy at the institute’s annual gala, which will take place virtually on Wednesday, October 10. 13.

Copeny will be presented by Shonda Rhimes, award-winning producer, best-selling author and creator of the hit TV series “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal”.

In 2016, at just 8 years old, Copeny’s hometown of Flint was facing an unprecedented water crisis, which prompted Copeny to write a letter to then-President Barack Obama.

Obama responded to his letter and toured the city. In January 2017, the president approved $ 100 million to fix the problem and improve infrastructure in Flint.

Now 14, Copeny continues to advocate for environmental justice in Flint and beyond.

She has raised over $ 1 million for drinking water efforts across the United States, she has partnered with Hydroviv to produce her own water filter, her work has been featured in various media coverage and she plans to run for President of the United States in 2044, according to the press release from the Institute of Environment and Sustainability.

“I am honored to be recognized for my efforts to bring water to the homes of those in need, but I will be even more excited when those efforts are no longer needed,” Copeny said in a statement.

In addition to Copeny, the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability virtual program will honor actor, musician and activist Jaden Smith, and will include appearances by former Vice President Al Gore, actors Harrison Ford , Issa Rae, Courteney Cox, singer-songwriters Natasha Bedingfield and Sting, among others, will be announced.

The event will also feature four current UCLA graduate students highlighting their ongoing research and the university’s efforts to educate emerging leaders from all walks of life and ensure communities most affected by change climate and environmental degradation play a major role in generating solutions.

Marilyn Raphael, the first black director of the university’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability (IoES), will also speak about solving global environmental problems by providing equitable solutions to minority communities who are disproportionately affected by climate change. .

“The whole world faces threats from climate change and toxic pollution, but communities of color often live on the front lines,” Raphael said. “These communities suffer the most and have fewer resources to adapt.”

The university’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability is moving science to action at the forefront of environmental progress, according to the press release.

For more details on viewing the virtual event, click here.

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