Miss Michigan calls out the Flint water crisis for Miss America 2019.

MLive/YouTube JSchipperWDRB/Twitter Remix by Samantha Grasso

Miss Michigan shames her state for Flint’s water crisis during pageant

She may not have won Miss America, but she did win over hearts.


Samantha Grasso


Published Sep 10, 2018   Updated May 21, 2021, 6:54 am CDT

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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.


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H/T Detroit Free Press

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*First Published: Sep 10, 2018, 9:05 am CDT