11 YEARS OLD ACTIVIST NAMED PEOPLE CHOICE AWARD WINNER FOR EBONY MAGAZINE BUT CAN’T ATTEND GALA
It all began with one tweet.
Earlier this year, Ebony Magazine released an additional category for their Power 100 list, an exclusive catalog of the brightest and most compelling Black activists, entertainers and change makers. The new category labeled the “People’s Choice Winner,” would open up the floor to a person committed to making a difference in their community.
One of the nominees, Mari Copen, 11, was the dynamic young woman who stole the hearts of America during the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Copen gained notoriety after she wrote a heartfelt letter to former President Barack Obama asking him to intervene.
Her passion for Flint was a watershed moment on the effects of the Flint community and the dedication of the youth to make change. For this she was dubbed “Little Miss Flint.”
On Monday, Ebony announced Copeny secured the bag as the winner with an overwhelming 24,000 votes (amounting to 43 percent of the total vote).
But the story took a disheartening turn after Copeny announced she would not be able to attend the honoree gala on Friday in Los Angeles.
“After receiving 24k votes and being the
#2018EbonyPower100 people’s choice award winner @EBONYMag has told me the Gala is not “open to the public”. Shout out to everyone who voted for me, I was really excited about this, maybe next year I’ll actually make it onto the real list,” she wrote in the tweet which included a photo of a royal blue dress that she intended to wear to the event.
Social media’s collective hearts sunk that Copeny, an activist who raised thousands of dollars in monetary and water donations for her community, would not be allowed to celebrate the fruits of her labour. Black Twitter voiced their disappointment at the outlet in excluding a young woman who dedicated her youth to advocating for public health.
We can only suspect Ebony’s mentions are currently in shambles and will do the right thing in giving Copeny the red carpet treatment by providing her full access to the gala. With all the call outs the magazine has received in the past, this was probably the last thing needed to add more fuel to the fire.
PHOTO CREDIT: theGrio