Race, Environment and Justice: Detroit Today Previews Summer Book Club

This year’s book club will be a community-wide read and discussion of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s “What the Eyes Don’t See.”

Bre’Anna Tinsley/ WDET

Water is life. It’s the very basis for life on this planet. And access to it is one of the defining characteristics of sustainable life on earth.

Four years ago, we had an environmental crisis right here in Michigan that highlighted just how precious access to clean water is. When an emergency manager switched Flint’s water source from the Detroit system to the Flint river, but failed to take proper precautions, the entire city was exposed to unsafe levels of lead.

It was catastrophic. Easily the most devastating public health crisis in recent memory.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician in Flint, was among the first to notice elevated lead levels in the blood of Flint’s children, and to sound the alarm about the crisis.

Since then, she has fought without hesitation to get officials to pay attention, to fix the water system, and to address the effects of the lead exposure.

And she wrote a book about the crisis, What the Eyes Don’t See, which details what happened in the city, as well as the intersection between so many different failures that produced the crisis.

Today, Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson is kicking off the 2019 WDET Book Club, which will be a community-wide read and discussion of What the Eyes Don’t See. It will also include in-person discussions around the region about the book and water issues in your community.

Click here to find out more about the 2019 WDET Book Club and how you can get involved.

The Book Club kickoff event is Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Source Booksellers here in Midtown Detroit.

Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about the book, her experiences during the Flint Water Crisis, and what’s happening today in Flint and elsewhere when it comes to access to safe drinking water.

Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.

Related: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha: “I Grew Up Knowing Exactly What Injustice Could Be” (Detroit Today 8/30/18) 


  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.