for Shondaland

Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny knows that it’s never too early to fight for what you believe in. In early 2016, the then 8-year-old from Flint, Michigan, known as “Little Miss Flint” to her many supporters, wrote a letter to President Obama. She, like the other residents of Flint, had been living with lead-contaminated water since 2014; Mari was headed to Washington, DC with her mom, Loui, to watch the hearing of Michigan governor Rick Snyder. In her letter, she asked President Obama if she might be able to meet him while she was in town.

President Obama wasn’t able to meet her in DC, so he did one better: he came to visit her in Flint. That visit resulted in the picture that melted millions of hearts around the world.

Since that bus ride to Washington, DC, Little Miss Flint has been an activist extraordinaire, bringing attention to the ongoing water crisis in Flint and running successful crowdfunding campaigns to fund screenings of “Black Panther” and “A Wrinkle in Time” for underserved kids in Flint. She also raised money to help 1,000 kids in Flint get backpacks. We’ve been following Little Miss Flint, now 10 years old, on Twitter for awhile now (@littlemissflint, an account her mom helps oversee) and caught up with the young activist to talk about her latest projects. Read my interview with her here.