#BridgeOverTroubledWater

As you may know, April 24, 2019, marked the 5 year anniversary of the #FlintWaterCrisis... and unbelievably, the vast majority of residents are still suffering. What that toxic water did to this community is unimaginable, but the fact that survivors are still struggling to access clean, safe, affordable water is just unacceptable! 

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Together, we can lift the burden the good people of Flint have been forced to bear.

Now, you may be wondering why someone from West Baltimore is gathering his forces to support folks in Flint, Michigan.

Well, let me tell you why...

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That's me  all the way in the back with Lee Anne Walters , Nayyirah Shariff , Monica Lewis Patrick  and Marc Edwards  from Va Tech.  These folks are absolutely the early #Heroes of the #FlintWaterCrisis!

The other two individuals pictured are heroes too - Jeffrey Elizabeth Copeland and King Hollis are family, as well as two amazing storytellers who have been busting their tails to help me complete a docu-series called #BiggerThanWater .

But this isn't about the series, it's about the good people of Flint.

When I first arrived in Flint in February of 2016 with my Justice League NYC  family, we saw how devastated this community was by the toxic, lead-filled water that had been flowing out of their taps for almost a year.

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We embedded ourselves  at Joy Tabernacle located in the historic, Civic Park neighborhood of Flint, Michigan because our dear friend Pastor Robert McCathren had explained how although his community had been suffering long before the switch it was comprised of some pretty resilient folks determined to see their city survive! 

Watch Pastor McCathern introduce us to the community on our first visit to Flint below.

 
But at that stage of the crisis, when all eyes were on Flint, and with support pouring in from around the globe, we never thought they'd still be struggling to get safe water 5 years later!

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But the city, state and federal government stopped supplying bottled water almost a year ago... and as private donations dry up, folks are waiting in line for 6-8 hours for 2 cases of water... that's roughly a quarter of their day for about 3 gallons of water.

The city has only completed 20% of the lead service line replacements - in large part because they are refusing to even consider any home for the replacement program with inactive or past-due water accounts.

Outrageous, right?

We think so, too! 

So we're calling on you to join LeeAnne Walters, Paul Simon and our friends at Joy Tabernacle  as we try to help lift some of the burden the good folks in Flint have been forced to bear.

Here's how a #BridgeOverTroubledWater will fill the void:

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Why water - you ask?  

Well for folks to live their BEST LIVES they need to consume at least 8 full glasses of water a day.

Now, that's not so tough considering you can find it in coffee, tea and even some fresh juice. 

But for now, we'll just use coffee as an example...

Here's how the #BridgeOverTroubledWater pledge works:

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But wait a minute - why coffee? 

Most of us don't think twice about buying a cup of coffee at the start of our day, regardless of the price.

Whether you grab a cup from your favorite spot or buy in bulk to make your own brew at home, it all starts with freshwater. Something Flint residents have been fighting for... for the last 5 years!

This is a way to remind folks what a privilege it is to have access to safe, clean, affordable water. 

Here's why you should support:

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Imagine this is your reality: The government has lied to you for FIVE years, your neighbors have died, and your children and the next SIX generations will suffer the debilitating side effects from lead poisoning. All because gross negligence, corruption and a wide spread cover-up trumped humanity.

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And if that wasn't enough, the state then penalizes you because you struggle to pay your water bill. You can't afford to move, but it doesn't matter anyway because the housing market plummeted after the water crisis destroyed your city.

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Wouldn’t you want someone to give up a few cups of coffee for you?

Of course you would!

But I thought I heard something about Paul Simon… what was that!

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So first and foremost let's all take a minute to thank the legendary Paul Simon  for his legacy of philanthropy, community work and of course all that amazing music.

Ok... now here's the story - Mr Simon, being the amazing human he is, actually took the time to research local change-makers in every community he’s ever toured in… just to say “thank you” for supporting him and his music. He found Lee Anne on his own and decided to honor her commitment to the community by donating $15,000 with the idea that the money would help sustain her work.

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And he did it all without ever once wanting any credit or publicity for his actions.

But of course Lee being Lee, never wanting anyone to be left out, she reached out to me, and “the rest is history” as they say.

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The reality is the overwhelming majority of Flint residents are still suffering. We believe that with a little support and the right intentions we can make a real impact.

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We just witnessed a massive, historic effort that raised over ONE BILLION DOLLARS in donations, to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a fire devastated an iconic building.

Surely the lives of 100,000 Americans are worth as much.

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62 Cups = 1 month water delivery
128 Cups = 6 months
208 Cups = 1 year

But remember #EveryDollarCounts so donate whatever you can afford - All donations are 100% tax deductible.

So what happens after the money starts coming in?

Well we arrived in #Flint on May 1st to begin to set up a mechanism to prioritize needs, the delivery system, and a way to ensure those closest to the problem were included in the conversation about solutions so of course our first stop was Joy!
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After an intense listening session we decided to create a #blueprint for water delivery during a crisis while empowering those affected! So in partnership with the Urban Renaissance Center and the Flint Grounds Crew we will employ the youth of the community to handle distribution. They will be paid $15/hr to deliver and set up all initial water deliveries as well as all monthly replacements and special needs requests. 

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Your donations have already brought 11 families year long water delivery service and we will continue to do at least 10 families per week for the rest of this month as we work out all the logistics and continue build momentum! 

Follow our progress at: www.BeatsRhymesAndRelief.com/the-work as we continue to add more families each weekend.

Donations ()

  • Haley Rau 
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
  • Linda Powell 
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
  • Karis Robertson 
    • $20 
    • 8 mos
  • Brittany Chand 
    • $20 
    • 8 mos
  • nova bergeron  
    • $60 
    • 8 mos
See all

Organizer

Rameen Aminzadeh 
Organizer
Flint, MI
Beats Rhymes and Relief 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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