Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha's book selected by Great Michigan Read

FLINT, Michigan — The Great Michigan Read is none other than Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s book, “What the Eyes Don’t See.”

Announced at a press conference at the Flint Public Library, the year-long Great Michigan Read launches in September and offers free copies of the book to partners, creates reader and teacher guides, and is the highlight of Michigan Humanities programming. 
“What the Eyes Don’t See” captures the impact of the Flint Water Crisis from the personal perspective of Hanna-Attisha, the famed Hurley doctor who proved Flint children were being exposed to increased levels of lead in their water.

“We believe it’s important for Michigan citizens to read, discuss and learn from what she has so skillfully written, and we’re anticipating an engaging, timely Great Michigan Read program that addresses water quality and access, environmental injustice, and intersection of the humanities and science,” said Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki, Michigan Humanities president and CEO. “It’s Michigan Humanities’ hope that this book will increase opportunities for civil discourse in our state.”

Hanna-Attisha’s book was chosen out of about 25-30 books with Michigan connections nominated for the Great Michigan Read. 

Dr. Hanna-Attisha hopes her book can be used as a playbook for other communities around the state and country to not only become more aware of the injustices happening all around them — but have the courage to act on them. 

“It’s the story of how everyday people, moms and activists, and students and water scientists,  and nonprofit folks and doctors, came together and stood up and said, ‘We’ve had enough,’ and committed to making a difference in the lives of their children,” Hanna-Attisha said. 

Jamie Gaskin, president and CEO of the United Way of Genesee County, said it is important for people beyond Flint to know, understand, and talk about what happened here. The Great Michigan Read is a educational opportunity for the whole state, he noted.

The Great Michigan Read continues through fall 2020 and will also include a statewide tour by Hanna-Attisha. Dates, times and locations will be announced at a later date.

Schools, libraries, colleges, arts and cultural organizations, and many other nonprofits are eligible to be Great Michigan Read partners, which provides free copies of the book and other materials. 

Registration is open now through Michigan Humanities website

Read more articles by Ashley Schafer.