United Way Is Leading the Search for Long-Term Solutions for Flint

Jamie Gaskin, CEO of United Way of Genesee County, was a Flint resident when officials detected lead in the water. He’s still leading the fight to ensure relief for the city.

Jake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET

It’s been over 5 years since Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a Flint pediatrician, first brought public attention to the discovery that there was lead contaminating the drinking water of Flint residents. This summer, WDET Book Club and Detroit Today is hosting a summer series featuring her book “What the Eyes Don’t See”.

While numerous organizations and foundations across the globe reached out to assist Flint, there was one organization already on the ground providing residents with the resources they needed: United Way of Genesee County

For the organization’s CEO, Jamie Gaskin, the drive to support the community through the crisis extended beyond professional obligation — he and his son were Flint residents themselves at the time. To this day, they are listed on the Flint Registry so they can understand long-term health effects of their lead exposure.

Jamie Gaskin joins Detroit Today to discuss the United Way of Genesee County’s hands-on role in aiding Flint residents before and during the Flint Water Crisis, reestablishing trust within the community, and collaborating with other organizations, government agencies and residents to manage both the short and long-term consequences of water insecurity.

Gaskin joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about that process, the challenges and how sometimes they were just flat out lied to.

Click the player above to hear Jamie Gaskin, CEO of United Way of Genesee County, talk about relief efforts in Flint and how he’s assisting Newark during their current crisis.



WDET Book Club

WDET’s 2019 Book Club is hosting a Summer Series featuring her Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha’s book, “What the Eyes Don’t See.” Dr. Attisha is a Flint pediatrician from Hurley Medical, who first brought public attention to the discovery of lead-tainted water, which led to the poisoning of Flint children.

As part of the Book Club, WDET’s Detroit Today is traveling across Southeast Michigan discussing water infrastructure, environmental toxins and the health of waterways. Stephen Henderson is also talking about these issues on the air. 

You can join us in that discussion. Read the book and engage with us online, on the radio and at events throughout the region. Here’s how:

Online: Join The WDET Book Club on Facebook where we will post articles and discussion topics throughout the summer. We’ll also invite guests to participate in targeted discussions you can engage in throughout the next couple of months.

On the radio Listen to 101.9 WDET! We’ll have interviews and conversations about Flint then and now, and more conversations about water quality, and trust in government during Detroit Today. You can listen to them on the radio, on demand and on the Detroit Today Podcast.

Follow us on TwitterFollow hashtag Detroit Today where we will tweet our events, our guests and information about issues of safe water in our sinks, streams and lakes..

Events: We will travel to libraries around the region with guests who played a role in the book. They will tell their own stories about their involvement in the Flint water crisis, and we’ll invite local experts to talk about issues affecting our water in each community.  


  • 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.
  • Alaina Fruge
    Alaina Fruge is the producer for the WDET Book Club. She's always taking care of business so catch her when you can because you never know which one of her jobs she'll be at.