We are happy to announce that Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is the 2023 Honorary Chair of Preservation Week, April 30 – May 6. She is the C. S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and founding director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative partnership of MSU and Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint, Michigan.
A pediatrician, scientist, activist and author, Dr. Hanna-Attisha was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and recognized as one of USA Today’s Women of the Century for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts. She has testified multiple times before the United States Congress, lectures at dozens of colleges and universities, and frequently contributes to national media outlets championing the cause of children in Flint and beyond.
The 2023 Preservation Week theme is Building Resilient Communities. Every year, communities and their history are under threat from natural and human-made disasters. As a leading activist and public health expert who continues to serve the people of Flint, Dr. Hanna-Attisha has first-hand experience creating services and securing vital resources to foster a more resilient community. For librarians and stewards of community history, we know all can learn from her example this Preservation Week.
“If history informs action and words shape thinking – preserving the truth of the lived experience is critical for our communities,” Hanna-Attisha says. “Their stories of resilience and triumph show how an empowered community can demand change. When science and community come together and speak truth to power – we feel heard, seen, and thrive – and our eyes open to how society should be – a place where resilience is built into the fabric of our nation rather than demanded of our most vulnerable.”
An accomplished academic and an inspiring change-maker, Dr. Hanna-Attisha is the author of the widely acclaimed and New York Times 100 most notable book, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.
Dr. Hanna-Attisha serves on several advisories/boards including the Flint Child Health and Development Fund (flintkids.org), Physicians for Human Rights, Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, and Abraham Lincoln Brigades Archives.
With concentrations in environmental health and health policy, Dr. Hanna-Attisha received her bachelor’s degree and Master of Public Health degree from University of Michigan. She completed her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and her residency and chief residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. She is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees.
As honorary chair, Dr. Hanna-Attisha will appear in Preservation Week artwork and will promote preservation activities through a range of platforms, including social media. Follow her on Twitter via @MonaHannaA.