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Jaden Smith filters water for Flint, Michigan families

Jaden Smith is a rapper turned activist and…

Jaden Smith is a rapper turned activist and he is busy carving out a legacy of humanitarianism for himself.

Last spring, Jaden announced that he was installing a water-filtration system in Flint, Michigan that can clean up to 10 gallons of water at once for families. The process takes about 60 seconds and is free for public use, according to Teen Vogue.

Jaden gave an update on his work in Flint, shared his upcoming plans with JUST Water and it’s factory located in NYC.

“JUST is doing great. We have grown a lot over the past year. We have expanded to the U.K. and Australia, which is so amazing. In the U.S., we have many new partners on board — multiple hotels, the American Airlines lounges, several zoos, and aquariums,” says Jaden. “We are now in Whole Foods stores and have recently been added in CVS stores across the country. We launched our organic flavors about a year ago, and we are about to launch three more! We have a lot of exciting things going on.”

The rapper even explains that JUST was created to be “just” a brand that includes a variety of products that are high in quality and packaged in sustainable materials. His company decided to start with water because bottled water is dominated by plastic, and now they are working on other products.

When asked how did the Flint, Michigan, initiative come into motion, Jaden responded, “Having spent the past eight years working on and learning about water, its complexities, characteristics, and challenges around the world, I and a group of like-minded water people wanted to extend our expertise in a specific and strategic way, mainly around engineering solutions to problems in the U.S. and abroad. We have designs on a number of crisis areas around the country to deploy additional solutions, but naturally, Flint was a choice for a variety of reasons. First, because the crisis persists. Second, the conversation about Flint had faded from the public consciousness, and that is a problem.”

He continued, “ We did a lot of preproduction work in Flint to find the appropriate, thoughtful, and neutral way to partner. This led us to First Trinity Baptist Church in Flint. Pastor and first lady Erza and Catrina Tillman, and their team of church deacons, have been conducting water services for bottled distribution for the past five years. We spent a lot of time planning and learning about one another’s abilities. Together, we engineered a solution from both a hardware standpoint and a social standpoint, to have the best path to success for the community and the churches immediate needs — purity, efficiency, transparency, and trust.”

“We also wanted to create great content and easy calls to action. This would allow anyone tuning into the project to learn, or relearn, about the Flint crisis, but from a solutions-based lens, and to be able to take action immediately. The outpouring of support and donations have been absolutely phenomenal. The incoming requests for more water boxes (and there have been well over 300) have also become a learning point for us about how many cities are suffering like Flint that are not talked about. We want to help them too. And we will.”

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