Shonda Rhimes is giving a presentation on October 13th.
The TV mogul was confirmed to attend the UCLA Institute for Environment and Sustainability Gala by introducing newly appointed award winner Amariyanna Copeny, also known as Mari or “Little Miss Flint”. The 14-year-old is celebrated for her commitment to protecting the environment and her efforts to provide clean, safe water after an unprecedented crisis in her hometown of Flint, Michigan. In particular, Copeny wrote a letter to then-President Barack Obama and he not only replied but visited the city and met with Copeny in 2016.
Since then, she has continued her advocacy by raising more than $ 1 million for clean water, partnering with Hydroviv to produce a water filter, and appearing on NBC News and the pages of The Washington Post and Youth fashion. On Instagram, where she has 154,000 followers, Copeny lists titles such as âfuture president, cheerleader, role model and influencerâ.
“I am honored to be recognized for my efforts to bring water to the homes of those who need it,” said Copeny in a statement, “but I am even more pleased when these efforts are no longer necessary.”
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the UCLA IoES Gala will take place virtually, a move that the organization says will “open the event to a wider, global audience while providing vital resources for environmental education, research and public relations.” As previously announced, Jaden Smith will be honored during the ceremony, which is expected to include appearances by Al Gore, Harrison Ford, Issa Rae, Courteney Cox, Natasha Beddingfield and Sting.
Also on the program is Marilyn Raphael, the university’s first black director of IoES. She plans to address global environmental problems with a focus on equitable solutions for minority communities disproportionately affected by climate change. “The whole world is at risk from climate change and toxic pollution, but color communities often live on the front lines,” said Raphael. “These communities suffer the most damage and have fewer resources to adapt.”
You can find more information about the event here.