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Ten-year-old Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, the onetime pageant winner who enthralled the country in 2016 by inspiring President Barack Obama to visit her hometown of Flint, Michigan, during the city’s ongoing water crisis, took hundreds of kids to the movies for a free screening of the hottest movie in the nation right now: Black Panther.
“Kids need to see themselves as superheroes,” Mari told The Washington Post. “Black kids are seen as victims — and we’re not.” Living in a city dependent on bottled water for drinking, cooking, and brushing teeth for four years because of contaminated tap water has exacerbated the stigma.
They worked with Flint’s boys and girls clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, churches, and homeless shelters to find just the right kids to invite — namely, those who would never have gotten to see the movie otherwise. Attendees also received a letter encouraging them to follow their dreams, and a comic book featuring a person of color as the hero.
In 2017, Mari raised more than $10,000 online in two weeks to give more than 1,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to Flint students; another free movie screening is in the works — for A Wrinkle in Time — along with the collection of 1,000 copies of the book for kids; and she’s raising funds for a trip to Washington for the March for Our Lives later this month.
Read the full article about this 10 year old activist by Meredith Nelson at The 74.