Miss New York, Nia Franklin, might have taken home the crown at this year’s Miss America competition, but it was Miss Michigan who caught the attention of viewers last night when she evoked the Flint water crisis while introducing herself.
“From a state with 84 percent of the U.S. fresh water, but none for its residents to drink, I’m Miss Michigan Emily Sioma,” she told the audience.
Miss Michigan Emily Sioma emphasizing the Flint Water crisis.— Shaun King (@shaunking) September 10, 2018
"I'm from the state with 84% of the U.S.'s fresh water, but none for its residents to drink." pic.twitter.com/S2IzKvgAig
The crisis began four years ago, when a switch in water supply with lead contamination and other toxins led to the exposure of 100,000 Flint residents, and an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed 12 people. Today, Flint residents still do not have access to completely clean water, and won’t “be fully safe” until the lead pipes in the water supply are all replaced in 2020, according to Politico.
Across Twitter, Miss Michigan drew the support and praise of many, who found that her opening statement was much more impactful than any sort of bragging she could have done about herself.
Been rolling my eyes all weekend that Miss America is still a thing but MISS MICHIGAN FOR PRESIDENT https://t.co/Y6Wib6DVRg— Jane Burns (@jrburns) September 10, 2018
Miss Michigan brings up the Flint water crisis. Props girl. #missamerica2019— Jennifer Mendelsohn ?? (@CleverTitleTK) September 10, 2018
So Emily Sioma, Miss Michigan is a sexual assault survivor/activist who takes her moment on stage at #MissAmerica2019 to go OFF about the Flint Water Crisis on Network television in front of a million viewers? We stan. https://t.co/VSesQDELnv— CRT (@StoryofEverest) September 10, 2018
Miss Michigan just introduced herself by shaming her home state for Flint water crisis.— Julia Terruso (@JuliaTerruso) September 10, 2018
Miss Michigan using her 10 second intro to speak on flints water crisis instead of herself is truly using her platform for her state ????????— Jesse Keener (@swaggirljesse) September 10, 2018
MISS Michigan bringing the HEATTTTTTT 84% water WITH NONE TO DRINK #MissAmerica— Christina Spann (@ladyteena102) September 10, 2018
not one for beauty pageants but, instead of saying her college and major, Miss Michigan introduced herself saying “I’m from a state that is home to 84% of the worlds fresh water yet not all its residents have clean water to drink, I’m Emily Sioma from Michigan”— Katie (@KatieJaffke) September 10, 2018
you go girl.
While Sioma didn’t advance to the top 15, she at least used her few seconds of airtime to advance Flint’s narrative and remind others that the community has still yet to have their basic needs met by the state.