The list below includes potential resources for Great Michigan Read partners to consider for programming opportunities. Additional resources will be added throughout 2019-20; if you have recommended programming ideas or questions, please contact Michigan Humanities. Please note that Great Michigan Read Action Grant funding can be used to support speaker and other programming expenses.
Anna Clark: Journalist
Bio: Anna Clark is a journalist in Detroit. She’s the author of The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy, named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Amazon, Audible, the New York Public Library, and others. It is the winner of the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism and a Michigan Notable Book. Anna’s articles have appeared in Elle, the New York Times, the Columbia Journalism Review, Next City, and other places. She has been a Fulbright fellow in Kenya and a Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan.
Topics/Format: Anna is comfortable with public talks, facilitated discussions, panels, and interactive workshops. She can speak about the Flint water crisis, connecting it to our history of infrastructure inequality in the United States, with segregation and redlining creating separate-and-unequal cities. She can speak about water policy — the miraculous history of public drinking water, urban river recovery, Great Lakes diversions, environmental justice, and the triumphs of the first clean water protections. She can discuss the successes and failures of the media in covering Flint’s water crisis, locally and nationally, with emphasis on the importance of journalism as a community watchdog. She also can discuss the history of lead, tracing it back to the days when alchemists, those would-be wizards, tried to turn a toxic metal into gold.
Travel: Variable, but open.
Speaker fee: Variable, mostly depending on travel distance and event format.
Arab American National Museum
About: The Arab American National Museum (AANM) is the first and only museum in the United States devoted to Arab American history and culture. Arab Americans have enriched the economic, political and cultural landscape of American life. By bringing the voices and faces of Arab Americans to mainstream audiences, we continue our commitment to dispel misconceptions about Arab Americans and other minorities. Since opening in 2005, the Museum has shed light on the shared experiences of immigrants and ethnic groups, paying tribute to the diversity of our nation.
Topics: AANM is open five days a week and also offers traveling exhibits, cultural competency workshops, and Yalla Eat! culinary walking tours.
Travel and fees: Destinations and fees for traveling exhibits and educational workshops can be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Museum admission is $8/adult; $4/students and educators with ID, seniors age 59+, children ages 6-12; free for AANM members and children under 6. Yalla Eat! program admission is $35/AANM members and $45/general public.
Contact: Aisha Zeben at AZeben@accesscommunity.org
Elin Betanzo: Founder of Safe Water Engineering LLC
Bio: Elin Betanzo is the founder of Safe Water Engineering LLC, a small consulting firm working to improve access to safe drinking water through engineering and policy consulting. In August of 2015, Elin played a critical role in uncovering the Flint Water Crisis by encouraging pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha to conduct a study that discovered elevated lead levels in children living in Flint, Michigan. Elin continues to raise awareness of lead in drinking water and improve public health protection of safe drinking water regulation and legislation at the federal and state levels. Elin has over 15 years of drinking water experience, including work at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and the Northeast-Midwest Institute.
Topics/Format: Topics include the Flint Water Crisis, the Michigan Lead and Copper Rule, the Washington, DC Lead Crisis, and “Everything you need to know about lead in drinking water but didn’t know you needed to ask.” I can do lectures or facilitated conversations.
Travel: Lower Peninsula is easiest for me. If all travel expenses are covered I may be able to consider upper peninsula.
Speaker fee: $375 plus mileage.
Contact: Elin@safewaterengineering.com or (248) 326-4339
Noah Hall: Attorney & Professor
Bio: Noah Hall is a law professor, author, attorney, and activist dedicated to environmental rights and justice. He was the founding Executive Director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center in Detroit and teaches at the University of Michigan Program in the Environment and Wayne State University Law School. He most recently served as Special Assistant Attorney General leading the civil investigation of the Flint water crisis. His books include “Environmental Law and Policy: Nature, Law, and Society” and “Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public Rights, and Environmental Protection.”
Topics/Format: Noah is available to talk about the Flint water crisis and environmental rights and justice more broadly. He can also talk about Great Lakes law and policy issues. Any format is workable, and he is available whenever his teaching schedule permits (Tuesdays are usually free for the Fall 2019 semester).
Travel: Travel within the state of Michigan.
Speaker fee: No speaking fee for community groups. Coverage of mileage and travel expenses from Ann Arbor.
Contact: email@example.com or (734) 646-1400
Jessyca Mathews: Educator
Bio: Award-winning educator and finalist for NEA Social Justice Activist of the Year-2017, Secondary English Teacher of the Year-2018, and Region 5 Michigan Teacher of the Year-2019. Blogger, author, and public speaker on the importance of activism education and racial literacy. Citizen of Flint, MI.
Topics/Format: Instructor and public speaker on the incorporation of activism into educational/community settings. Specializes in building up students/youth voices on areas of social injustice within communities. Formats can include: Lecture, facilitated conversation, and moderator.
Travel: Travel within the state of Michigan. Arrangements outside of Michigan can be made depending on availability of schedule.
Speaker fee: $300-700 per engagement, plus mileage. Coverage of overnight lodging if needed.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @JessycaMathews
Dr. Benjamin J. Pauli: Professor & Author
About: Dr. Benjamin J. Pauli is Assistant Professor of Social Science at Kettering University. He has been a resident of Flint since June 2015 and is the author of Flint Fights Back: Environmental Justice and Democracy in the Flint Water Crisis (MIT Press 2019), the first academic book on the water crisis. Dr. Pauli is also a member of a multi-university scientific team that has been studying the science of Flint’s water quality since 2016.
Topics: For a public talk, Dr. Pauli can address a wide range of aspects of the Flint water crisis. As a resident and father of young children, he has personally lived through the crisis. As an activist, he has worked with a variety of grassroots groups on the ground in Flint to raise awareness about water issues and fight for justice for Flint residents. As an academic, he has conducted over two years of ethnographic research into activist and resident perspectives on the crisis and the role of community members in exposing and addressing the crisis. Dr. Pauli’s academic work is especially attentive to matters of politics and democracy, science and expertise, and the internal dynamics of activist and community organizing groups. He has experience lecturing, moderating, and appearing in facilitated conversations and on panels.
Travel: Schedule permitting, Dr. Pauli is willing to travel statewide to give talks.
Speaker fee: Speaking fees be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
Contact: email@example.com and/or (253) 219-4514