Flint water advocate shares her story

November 4, 2019

The Herald-Mail, November 3, 2019

by Julie E. Greene


Image courtesy of The Herald-Mail

The message of her book, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha explained shortly before addressing an audience Sunday night at The Maryland Theatre, is not just about the lead water crisis in Flint, Mich.

The book What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City also speaks to deeper crises facing the country, including infrastructure, environmental justice, democracy, respect for science, and “fundamentally, how we take care of each other,” Hanna-Attisha said.

A pediatrician who drew national attention for exposing the amount of lead in Flint’s water system, Hanna-Attisha is in the midst of a four-day, six-stop book tour as the author of the book chosen through Maryland Humanities for the 2019 One Maryland One Book program.

The first-time author said she was “honored and humbled” to have the 2018 book be selected for One Maryland One Book. It received similar honors from Michigan and Rhode Island, she said.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha checks out art Sunday night by Barbara Ingram School for the Arts students that was inspired by her book about the lead water crisis in Flint, Mich. Image courtesy of The Herald-Mail.

Hanna-Attisha said when she was in medical school, she didn’t intend to become an author. But, she said, she also didn’t expect to be in the middle of Flint’s lead water crisis.

She said it was important to share the lessons she learned through that experience. She described the book as a “playbook” for how to be “resistant and create hope in communities and challenge injustice.

Larry and Joyce Neumark said they read Hanna-Attisha’s book for the Afternoon Book Club at Boonsboro Free Library. They also are concerned about environmental issues, Larry Neumark said.

Referring to the book, Neumark noted how “frequently corrupt our governments are, all the way from the bottom to the very top.” And how people can make a difference, he said.

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