Skip to content
Reading time: 2 minutes
Hanna-Atisha photo
Mona Hanna-Attisha

A whistleblower in the Flint, Michigan lead poisoning crisis will give a free public talk at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa as part of the Better Tomorrow Speaker Series. Pediatrician, author and activist Mona Hanna-Attisha will speak on “What the Eyes Don’t See: Water, Crisis, Resistance, Hope,” a topic of acute relevance on Oʻahu, on Thursday, March 23, 6:30 p.m. in UH Mānoa’s Orvis Auditorium, and will be introduced by Gov. Josh Green. Register for the event here.

“As we grapple with our own water crises, we are pleased to host Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of Michigan State University, whose courageous advocacy on behalf of her young patients made such a difference in Flint,” said UH President David Lassner.

He added, “Our graduates—from engineering to economics, from pediatrics to public health—play a vital role in designing and maintaining the infrastructure we need for clean, safe water in Hawaiʻi and ensuring the health of our larger population. We look forward to learning more about Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s important work in these same areas. She is an inspiration.”

child washing hands

Hanna-Attisha has an endowed professorship in public health at Michigan State University and is the founding director of the Pediatric Health Initiative. For her role in the Flint water crisis, she was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and recognized by USA Today as one of its Women of the Century.

An alumna of the University of Michigan, Hanna-Attisha received her MD from Michigan State University and served as chief resident at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. She is the author of What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

“In order to protect Flint’s youngest and most vulnerable residents from ongoing and irreversible harm, Dr. Hanna-Attisha had to fight bureaucrats, politicians and indifference,” said Robert Perkinson, a UH Mānoa American studies professor who leads the Better Tomorrow Speaker Series. “In dealing with the U.S. Navy at Red Hill, environmental and public health advocates have faced many of the same challenges, going back years. We are excited to welcome Dr. Hanna-Attisha to Hawaiʻi. We have much to learn from each other.”

The Better Tomorrow Speaker Series is a joint venture of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools and UH Mānoa. Series sponsors also include The Queen’s Health System and Ulupono Initiative. Event co-sponsors are the Halekulani Hotel, Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival, the Scholars Strategy Network and the Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health.

For more information, contact Perkinson at (808) 351-8076 or

Back To Top