The College of Southern Maryland’s (CSM) La Plata Campus is one of six November stops in the One Maryland One Book tour featuring author Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha as she discusses her book “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.” Hanna-Attisha will speak and sign copies of her book Nov. 4 as part of this year’s One Maryland One Book program. The book chronicles Hanna-Attisha’s efforts to uncover the contamination of Flint, Michigan’s drinking water.
The One Maryland One Book effort aims to bring together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book. Created by Maryland Humanities, readers are also invited to participate in book-centered discussions and related programs at public libraries, high schools, colleges, museums, bookstores and community and senior centers around the state.
According to Maryland Humanities, ‘What the Eyes Don’t See’ is the inspiring story of how Hanna-Attisha—accompanied by an idiosyncratic team of researchers, parents, friends and community leaders—proved that Flint’s kids were exposed to lead and then fought her own government and a brutal backlash to expose the truth to the world. Paced like a scientific thriller, this book shows how misguided austerity policies, the withdrawal of democratic government, and callous bureaucratic indifference placed an entire city at risk. At the center of the story is Hanna-Attisha herself—an immigrant, doctor, scientist and mother whose family’s activist roots inspired her pursuit of justice.
“I’m humbled and psyched that ‘What the Eyes Don’t See’ has been selected as the 2019 One Maryland One Book,” said Hanna-Attisha. “I am looking forward to engaging with Maryland readers about the many timely issues that the book magnifies including poverty, race, industrial decline, inequality, toxic stress, austerity and immigration. I’m especially happy that the committee recognizes that environmental justice fits neatly within this year’s theme of ‘nature.’ In Michigan and Maryland – states with an abundance of natural beauty – the burden of environmental harm does not fall equally.”
Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician, professor and public health advocate who spearheaded efforts to reveal, publicize and fix Flint, Michigan’s water crisis. In 2014, a change in the city’s water source resulted in astronomical amounts of lead leaching into the drinking water, causing irreversible damage to Flint’s residents. As a local pediatrician, the poisonous levels of lead in the water terrified Hanna-Attisha, and she was shocked that the government ignored complaints, protests, and reports from citizens, journalists and experts. She knew that the only way to stop the lead poisoning would be to present undeniable proof on a national platform.
2019 One Maryland One Book Author Tour with Mona Hanna-Attisha. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Nov. 4. College of Southern Maryland (CSM), La Plata Campus, Fine Arts Center (FA Building), 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. CSM will host a visit by author Mona Hanna-Attisha, who will speak and sign copies of her book “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City,” which was selected as the focus of this year’s One Maryland One Book discussions, a program of Maryland Humanities. The book chronicles Hanna-Attisha’s efforts to uncover the contamination of Flint, Michigan’s drinking water. Free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. 301-934-9001, ext. 134. This is one of six appearances Hanna-Attisha will make Nov. 2-5. All events are free. You can also find a book discussion or other One Maryland One Book events at https://www.mdhumanities.org/programs/one-maryland-one-book/2019-one-maryland-one-book/.
*Portions of this story are reprinted from the Maryland Humanities webpage with permission.