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News with a new perspective, news with a black perspective, the black information network is the first all news on. Network core and by the black community, get the podcast and get the biggest news and business stories delivered to you every morning, subscribe to the Black Information Network daily and wake up with the latest from the Black Information Network. Loaded and ready to go. When you listen to the Black Information Network daily on the radio Apple podcast, wherever you get your podcasts, you and me both is a production of IUT radio.


One of my favorite accolades I received was a disobedience award committee for not publishing this research and a peer reviewed journal first that can take months, that can take years. And our kids did not have another day. We could not afford that time. So I literally walked out of my clinic with my white coat on and I stood up at a press conference sharing this research and demanding action.


I'm Hillary Clinton and this is you and me both where I get into some of today's biggest questions with people I find fascinating. Last week, I got to speak with Kamala Harris, U.S. senator from California, Democratic nominee for vice president. Tough as nails. We dropped that as a special episode. And if you haven't listened to it yet, I hope that you will, because I want you to get to know this woman who's going to make history and be our first woman vice president.


Today, we are featuring two other women leaders. Now, you might guess I have a lot to say about the subject of women and leadership.


I know what happens to women when we put ourselves out there, you know, we're told smile more, you smile too much, you know, your voice is too loud, your voice is too soft. Why are you wearing that collar? Why don't you wear this color? I mean, everything that's ever been said to me or said behind my back about me, I understand that it is not easy, but when women lead, we get the job done.


And it is no coincidence that some of the countries with the best responses to covid happened to be led by women. Now there are lots of ways to lead. One is running for office, but it is not the only way. So today I'm talking to two women who've made a huge impact on the world, each in her own unique way. Later, I'll be talking to Dr. Mona Hanna, a Teisha. She is the pediatrician from Flint, Michigan, who discovered that the city's drinking water was contaminated with lead.


She spoke out. She advocated. She stood her ground. It was not easy, as you will hear.


But first, I'm thrilled to talk to my friend, feminist icon, writer, journalist, activist advocate Gloria Steinem. You know, I first heard about Gloria. Years and years ago. She just seems like she's been part of my young adulthood and the rest of my life. I love the way that she has pushed open doors for so many women who have come after her, including me. But more importantly, she became a leader in the women's rights movement, a strong leader for a woman's right to choose, and spoke out about having an abortion herself at age 22.


She helped found Miss Magazine, which I remember when that happened. It was like a bombshell. It was so exciting. She fought for the Equal Rights Amendment and she's been on the front lines ever since. She's an extraordinary person with a gift for summing up what so many are feeling, but may not have the words to say.


And one of my favorite Gloria isms is The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. So let's jump right in.


You know, I wanted to talk to us a little bit about your journey, because I know you've said you didn't begin your life as an active feminist. I don't know anybody who did when we stood up for ourselves. Maybe that was being a feminist in our time and age. But were there experiences, looking back now in your childhood that you think prepared you to speak out and stand up on behalf of not only yourself, but on feminist issues and politics, particularly as they affect women and girls?


Well, looking back, I think it was quite fortunate that I didn't go to school very much until I was about 11, and that's because my family was traveling in a house trailer in the wintertime. It's a long story as to why that was the case, but I think I missed a certain amount of Dick and Jane. Remember the Dick and Jane? I do, yes. Yeah. I think I just missed that. So I think in some ways we're born with a sense of our value or, you know, our we're not better than anybody else, but we're not worse either.


And unless that gets educated out of you, I think children hang on to it. And secondly, I would give great credit to Louisa May Alcott. I fell in love with a little women. I read every word that she wrote, which was, you know, she wrote many more things than that. She was, of course, a very active suffrage, independent woman. And I'm grateful to her. You know, I imagine that she was my friend and then she would come back and what would I show her first?


And so she was my companion.


Growing up, I've had so many women and I myself feel the same way, talk about the influence of little women and also Nancy Drew.


Oh, yes. I also read Nancy Drew, finding role models in literature was like finding a friend, somebody that you could relate to, that you could role model yourself after.


And, you know, when I think about growing up at that time, it's hard not to be focused on all the books that I read because there weren't very many women in the public arena or even in my community that were living lives outside the home. So that were my public school teachers. There were the public librarians. But, you know, other than somebody maybe waiting on you at a store, they're just. Weren't many other people except in literature that you could go in and your imagination spark, did you see anybody in political life?


I mean, my mother worshipped Eleanor Roosevelt, but of course, you know, you had to marry a president that wasn't altogether magical.


Well, you know, the one person that I learned about from reading Life magazine every Friday at my house when I got home from school was Margaret Chase Smith, the Republican senator from Maine.


I read about her and I learned about her standing up to McCarthy. Yes.


Oh, I so remember that. Yes. It was so impactful to me. You know, part of the interesting dynamic that you and I share as we both went to women's colleges. Yes. And you went to Smith? I went to Wellesley.


How did you decide to do that? What was it about Smith that attracted you when you were ready to go to school?


Well, my my older sister, nine years older, had gone there. And I was in Toledo and a terrible high school, and it was the only one I knew, actually. So I was just following her. And I'm enough older than you. So that I was there in the nineteen fifties and the nineteen fifties were not a great time, to put it mildly.


Yeah. So there was not a lot of encouragement there. I mean I had my courses that I fell in love with, but the president at the time said they were educating women in order to have educated children.


You know, I have had that conversation with Madeleine Albright, who was at Wellesley ten years before me, and she says exactly the same thing. She got married right out of college. I think she graduated one day. She got married the next day. She said, look, that's what we were supposed to do.


That's what we were being trained to do. And the difference in the time I went to college with the Vietnam War protests, with assassinations, with all kinds of turmoil in our country and the women's movement, which you were literally at the forefront of and beginning to set forth a a set of values and principles that provided an alternative view for girls and women.


Well, in a way, what we're saying is hopeful because what we're seeing in our individual experience is the difference a decade makes. And it's huge when you think about it, between the 50s and the 60s. Right. I was rescued from the my fate of the nineteen fifties. I was engaged. I was going to get married and so on. So the only way I could sort of escape from that was to do something drastic. So I went to India and ended up fortunately I had access to a small Bowles fellowship, which was like, I don't know, a thousand dollars or something.


So I just got on a plane and left and ended up living there for two years in the midst of the post independence, growth and excitement and so on.


Where were you living in India? Well, first I was living in Myranda House, which is a women's college at the University of Delhi, and then I was just traveling through India. There must be some providence that looks after naive young women who don't know what they're doing.


May it always be so. Yeah.


And then when you came back, what was it you were planning to do when you returned to the United States? How did you see your future at that time?


You know, I had a very hazy vision of my future, I think guided partly by the fact that I had a father who was very proud of never having a job. I realized that it was possible to live without a job. And though it was kind of difficult economically for quite a few years to be a freelance writer.


So you were coming back, though, right in the midst of the civil rights movement, the beginning of the women's movement, the struggle over the Vietnam War, you were coming into a lot of ferment when you returned.


Yes, that happened a little bit later. But actually, my experience in India stood me in good stead because I knew Ho Chi Minh was a nice guy and a poet because I had read and write. I sort of knew early that we were on the wrong side, you know, not just that it was an unjust war, but that we were actually on the wrong side.


Well, didn't he ask for US support in his independence struggle against the French?


He did initially. I mean, he, as a young man, went to the League of Nations and he asked for US support and actually in the first issue of of New York magazine. Which I believe was nineteen sixty eight, I wrote a piece about Ho Chi men in New York because I was trying to humanize him and I knew that as a young man, a cabin boy on a ship, he had come to New York and lived in New York for several years.


So I tried to track down his story and to the credit of Clay Felker, who was probably not supposed to let me humanize the enemy at that point, he let me write a whole piece about how G men in New York.


That's fascinating.


We'll be back right after this quick break. Hi, this is Hillary Clinton, host of the new podcast, You and Me both, there's a lot to be anxious and worried about right now, and it's made so much worse by the fact that we can't be together. So I find myself on the phone a lot, talking with friends, experts, really anyone who can help make some sense of these challenging times. These conversations have been a lifeline for me.


And now I hope they will be for you to please listen to you and me both on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. News with a new perspective, news with a black perspective, the black information network is the first all news audio. Network core and by the black community, get the podcast and get the biggest news and business stories delivered to you every morning. Subscribe to the Black Information Network daily and wake up with the latest from the Black Information Network.


Loaded and ready to go. When you listen to the Black Information Network daily on the talk radio Apple podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.


You know, another thing you did is you started a magazine, you started something that had never really been in in the modern world, there had been women's magazines, obviously, and there had been political women's magazines in the 19th century, in the early 20th century. But for a lot of the people listening to us, I don't know that younger people, particularly young women, understood how momentous it was when you started my magazine. I mean, it was such an explosion of interest and excitement about that.


Yes, it really was. And if we'd known how difficult it was, we probably wouldn't have done it.


Well, that's true for a lot of things that I could think of.


But the women's magazines were and sometimes still are catalogs there about what women are supposed to buy, what we're supposed to look like, how we're supposed to raise our children, cook, so on. And because they're supported by advertising. And most of the editorial then is they're really about the advertising categories. So we said, wait a minute, why can't we have women's magazine? That is about what women are interested in reading and that includes fiction and poetry and political articles and so on.


Of course, advertisers are the least interested.


So we were always on our economic uppers.


But fortunately, there was there was interest. What kept us going were the mail bags of letters that came every day with women saying, you know, Miss came into my house and I feel as if I have a friend and I've been, you know, it was just so moving and so encouraging. And also they kept us up on all the issues so we could do a cover story on how women were waiting later to have babies, you know, because before it was discernible, it was discernible in our letters.


Yeah. It was like a big talking circle with readers. And somehow we managed to keep going economically. And it's still exists thanks to the Feminist Majority, which took it over.


You know, a magazine seems like an artifact from a very long time ago for most young people.


But holding that magazine, buying it on a newsstand, sharing it with your friends, it was a huge, huge earthquake in the lives and minds and thinking and opportunities I like. That's a phrase you use often talking circle. I like that a lot.


Well, and actually my idea of heaven is an editorial meeting because you're all sitting around the table and you all get to say whatever it is you think is important and and what comes out of the meeting is more and better than any individual could have done by themselves. It's heaven. I don't know. It happens in political campaigns. Absolutely.


Absolutely. And, you know, the diversity of opinion and experience it makes for a better outcome.


I don't know why that's so hard for people to understand and accept.


You know, I was really struck by the recent series, Mrs. America, and I think I shared the reaction you had to it. For those listening to us talk about it, it was a series that primarily followed Phyllis Schlafly, the anti feminist anti NRA activist and mouthpiece for a lot of other interests at work. And I think the series gives her more credit than she deserves. I mean, she was a player in the demise at that time of the era.


But you actually wrote an article, an op ed piece to express your concerns about the way that series portrayed the struggle. And Schlafly in particular. What were the points you were worried about?


Well, I was concerned that it was the catfight theory of history that is the idea that the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated by other women, when in fact, at the time I wrote that together with a male who was more influential and than I in working for the Equal Rights Amendment. And as Ellie said, she could never find that Phyllis Schlafly determined even one vote. I mean, it was the financial interests, the insurance industry that defeated the Equal Rights Amendment and that employed her as a kind of cover for state legislators who were voting against the Equal Rights Amendment anyway.


And certainly one op ed can't contend with all those episodes. But I didn't want women to think. Other women had defeated them when, in fact, it was economic interests that defeated the Equal Rights Amendment.


Well, so interesting because in this year of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, people also overlook the role that big corporate interests played in trying to prevent women from getting the amendment passed. Elaine Weiss's really compelling book called The Woman's Hour, which zeroes in on the very final vote, which was in the Tennessee legislature, points out that the liquor industry, the railroad industry, a lot of big, powerful forces did not want women to vote. They viewed that as a direct threat to their financial interests.


Yes, you know, one question I hate getting and don't answer it because people always say, well, what do you think about your legacy? And, you know, that to me implies that we're not still out there. We're not still working and talking and thinking and trying to influence events. So I'm not going to ask you about that, but I want to ask you about what work is still to come for you. What are you working on now?


Well, what I'm working on now is with two friends, Beverly Seftel and Paula Giddings, women, perhaps, you know, we all kind of got mad at the same time, I would say, or we were permanently bent about the fact that the women's movement is regarded in the public eye as more of white women's movement than a black women's movement, especially in its beginnings. So we are together, the three of us, writing a book about what you might call the missing figures, the black feminists of the 60s, 70s, 80s.


That's terrific. That's a big piece of business, something that is really needed. It's kind of the way that a lot of recent writers and historians have tried to write in black suffragists who had been largely written out had been overlooked. Yes, exactly.


It's really important that in I don't know if it's second wave modern. How are we describe the women's movement of the 60s and on that that there's a real reflection of the entire diversity.


Yes. I mean, we had that struggle with statues in Central Park, you know, to make sure that there wasn't just two white women on a pedestal.


And thank goodness we've got Sojourner Truth and yes, the first statuary of actual historic women.




Otherwise, we just had Alice in Wonderland in Central Park, even makes up even the dog is a guy who you know, I also have to ask you, what have you thought about when you look at the next years ahead in terms of the challenge of your own keeping going, of being the the vibrant person? I mean, we're all getting older. We know that. But on the other hand, I don't think we can do without your voice, without your presence.


So are you taking care of yourself? Are you, you know, working to ensure that you're physically and spiritually and every other way, you know, filled up and ready for what comes next?


I don't know that I'm making a conscious effort.


I mean, I've never been a person who jogged, but I'm lucky to be healthy. I mean, my back hurts and a few things, but I'm OK. And I think probably what keeps us the healthiest is loving what we do. Absolutely. And I think our friends I mean men as well as women, but especially our women friends. Right? Yeah.


I don't know what I would do. I don't know how you keep going without your women. It's a chosen family. It is a chosen family.


And you've chosen well from all of the people that I know who adore, love and support you. And Gloria, I just love talking to you. Any chance I get.


So thank you for hopping on this podcast.


Well, thank you. I feel invigorated. Maybe I've got to go write three pages. To learn more about Gloria's life and work, pick up her incredible memoir, My Life on the Road and check out The Glorias, starring Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander, telling the story of Gloria's life. It's out now on Amazon Prime. My next guest is the amazing Dr. Mona Hanna, a teacher. You know, I cannot tell you what it's like being in a room with Dr.




I think you'll get a sense of it as you listen to our conversation. She is one of the most dynamic, passionate, caring, smart people you will ever run across. She's best known as the researcher and pediatrician who has spoken out about the Flint water crisis. She's testified three times before Congress. It was her advocacy more than anything else that put the nation's eyes on Flint and raised this horrible problem of how bad decisions made by government leaders actually contaminated water with lead that was being drunk by not only the adults, but most poignantly the children of Flint.


This summer, the residents of Flint got some good news for a change. A lawsuit that they filed against the state of Michigan was settled for six hundred million dollars, the largest settlement in Michigan history. And nearly 80 percent of those funds are going to the children whose health and lives have been so impacted. This is a very important step in the right direction. But let's be honest, there are Flint's all over the country and our work is far from done.


And I want people to understand what it takes to be a citizen leader and advocate the way Dr. Mona was, because I think we're going to need a lot of that in the years to come all over America. Well, first, let me ask you, how are you doing here? We are six months into the covid quarantine lockdown pandemic.


You know, every day is a different day and it is bizarre. My kids are upstairs in remote school. My husband's working remotely. I still get to see patients, so I still get to go to clinic. But, you know, our world, all of our worlds are upside down.


And if I recall, you actually had covid last spring, didn't you? Yeah, I had covered in March and fortunately had a more mild case, lost my sense of smell and taste for two months, which was absolutely bizarre, especially for an Arabic person who loves food and spices and eating.


But fortunately, we recovered and donated my plasma three times. So hopefully a great a tiny way to help others who are a lot sicker.


Well, you mentioned that you are Arabic, so tell us a little bit about your background, Mona.


Yeah, so I'm an immigrant. I wasn't born here. I'm Iraqi American. We came to this country when I was four and we were living somewhere terrible, the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein for something better. And I was able to grow up where my diversity was was celebrated. I thus grew up confident and competent and really committed to service with this immigrant perspective of being everyday grateful to be in this country, but also acutely aware of what kind of injustice can be and what people in power can do to vulnerable populations.


And I think that's one of the reasons that drove me into into a career in service and to medicine and to and to social justice and ultimately in serving vulnerable populations.


So you became a pediatrician and you set up a practice in Flint, Michigan, is that right? Yep. And what year was that?


So I came to Flint in 2011, but I was first in Flint as a medical student with Michigan State University. So I did my clinical training as a medical student in Flint, where I really fell in love with the city. I fell in love with the people with that loyalty and the grit and the resilience. I left Flint for about a decade to go to Detroit to do my pediatric training at the Children's Hospital in Detroit, and then came back to Flint in 2011 to run the residency program to really train the next generation of pediatricians.


And so that's what you were doing when what we know of as the Flint water crisis really began, when did you first figure out that something was going on?


So I was practicing as a pediatrician. Moms would come in and ask if they should be mixing their babies formula with the tap water in Flint. They'd be concerned about their kids rashes that might have been related to their water or some other concern. And for over a year as a pediatrician with my white coat on full of confidence, I was reassuring my patients that, of course, our water is. I mean, this is America, right, like the twenty first century, it's Michigan is surrounded by the largest source of freshwater in the world.


So all those things were running through my head when patients were presenting before me with concerns about the water. And on top of all of that, I knew that there was rules and laws and people that when they wake up in the morning, their job is to make sure that our public health is safe. And that all changed for me when I heard about the possibility of lead being in the water.


Well, as I remember, you became aware of it through a friend of yours who actually worked for the Environmental Protection Agency. How did that happen?


Yeah, so this is one of my favorite stories and it speaks to the power of girlfriends. My high school girlfriend, of all things, was in town.


She had been in D.C. for over a decade. Working at the EPA were the focus and drinking water. And so she just happened to be at my house for a last minute barbecue. And our children were running around and she corners me in my kitchen and she shares that the water in Flint isn't being treated properly. She had just seen a memo written by one of her former colleagues at the EPA and she shared that this memo said that the water wasn't being treated with something called corrosion control.


And her eyes lit up. And I'm like, I have no idea what corrosion control is.


And she also shared that without that really critical ingredient, there would be lead in the water. So it was pure serendipity that I was informed of the possibility of lead and that really kind of change the trajectory of my work.


So you get what I view as an explosive piece of information. What did you do then?


I stopped sleeping. I stopped eating like I literally lost 30 pounds and I became consumed with this knowledge that something in our water was literally taking away the potential of our children. And it was this drive in me that had to protect my kids. And writing a book has kind of made me really reflective. Like like why like why did you do that, Mona? Like, why why did you just, you know, so many people had closed their eyes to this.


So many people literally close their eyes and looked away and couldn't have cared less about what was happening in Flint. And I think it was partly that immigrant perspective of kind of fighting for justice, of serving the underserved. My parents have always taught me to do the right thing, even if it's the hard thing. It's also that obligation as a physician, as a pediatrician, like I have literally taken an oath to protect children. But more than that, I own doctor or not, this is all of our civic responsibility.


And I think that's the biggest lesson of our story, that we all have this duty to open our eyes to injustices that are happening around us and more importantly, to act. And for me, it was a choice, choice. There was no other option than to go forward. And for me going forward was to do the research to see if it was increasingly in the bodies of our children.


And that's when you started to take blood samples from your pediatric patients. Because I want to underscore what you said. There is no safe level of lead in the body. And of course, with children in their smaller bodies, that becomes even more imperative to name it and stop it before it affects everything from bodily development to mental development and behavioral problems.


So once you began gathering your data, what did you do next and how did you make it public?


We conducted the research really in record pace over a matter of weeks, which would have taken months if we had slept. But obviously that wasn't an option that we had to figure out what was going on. And what we found is that the blood lead levels of children had increased after the water switch and that nothing was happening to the blood. The levels of children outside of the city of Flint, it was only happening within the Flint water limits. So when we knew this research, we tried to get folks to pay attention, but they didn't pay attention.


So I knew that the only way to get any change to happen was to go public. And that's not something that academics and researchers and doctors usually do. And this was a form of academic disobedience. I think one of my favorite accolades I received was a disobedience award to MIT for not publishing this research and a peer reviewed journal first. But any academic will tell you that takes a long time, that can take months, that can take years to get something finally published in an academic journal.


And our kids did not have another day. We could not afford that time. So I literally walked out of my clinic with my white coat on and I stood up at a press conference sharing this research. And demanding action. We're taking a quick break. Stay with us. Hi, I'm Ariel Demos and I'm hosting a new podcast called News Reports.


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You know, when I heard about this, I was so upset because during the course of my years of working on behalf of kids and families and then as a senator from New York, I knew how dangerous your findings were and how immediately there had to be a response. I remember going to Flint and my 2016 campaign before a lot of people really understood the importance of what you were disclosing. And I met a young boy named Jalen who had developed side effects from the poisoned water.


He was jumpy, couldn't concentrate. He wasn't sleeping well. And that was exactly textbook, because if you look at places that have researched lead poisoning, they demonstrate all of these side effects and consequences for little kids. So you had a press conference. You basically told the world this. But I remember the government of your state, Michigan, tried to paint you and I quote, as an unfortunate researcher intent on causing near hysteria.


Well, that's a mouthful. What was your reaction to that kind of character assassination?


My science was denied. It was disrespected. I was attacked as a scientist, as a physician called. They said I was causing near hysteria, like you said, which is absolutely sexist as well. So I felt tiny. I felt small. I began to second guess myself. I'm like, oh, my gosh, maybe I am wrong. Maybe I should have just kept going about my busy business as a pediatrician and mom and wife. And and I also began to feel physically sick, like my heart rate was close to two hundred and my hands were shaking.


And I just could not believe that science and facts like clear facts and prevention and public health were being attacked on behalf of our children.


Well, you know, what you're describing is so resonant with me because you didn't want to get it wrong.


You believed you actually got it right. And you go out there and you make this presentation and yes, you are. You're attacked in sexist terms. History is always used to diminish and undermine women.


You're attacked on your credentials. You're attacked on the research that you had done. And, of course, you're going to question yourself. And because you know, you're out there, you're vulnerable, you're literally putting your life, your reputation, your profession on the line. How did you find the courage to continue, you know, standing up and speaking out, even at the risk of jeopardizing your career?


So it took a quick realization that this had nothing to do with me, man.


Nothing, nothing to do with me. They could go after me all they wanted. But this was about my children and my kids. And like, they are no different than my biological children. Like when I'm not home, my children are like moms with our six thousand siblings. This is about this is about my kids and every single number in my research. And it was like all these spreadsheets and Excel documents, every single number was a child. And it was probably a child that even seen in the last year.


And I had touched their heads and I had held their hands and I had examined them and I knew them and I knew their faces. And it was as if those kids jumped out of my spreadsheets and lifted me up and gave me the courage to keep going. So they're the ones that got me back in the fight. It was this constant grounding in my why and for me and this is a grounding that I do to this day, a practice of like, why do I wake up?


Why did I go to school forever? Why am I here? Why am I doing this interview? Why am I working late? It's the kids. It is the kids white privilege, the absolute privilege of serving these children. And they gave me the courage to keep going. And we fought back because we were right. We fought back with more numbers and more evidence and more data.


Well, you know, you write in your book, so along with a growing team of doctors and scientists, I held a news conference to release our findings and demand action. It was an unusual thing for a local pediatrician to do. But that's what you do when nobody's listening. You get louder. Now, actually, lots of people, especially women, are afraid to get louder. You know, we're afraid that we're just going to get even more attacked if we stick to our guns and we increase the intensity and frankly, the volume to try to communicate and cut through all of the, you know, the static.


I can't help but think about what's happened with covid because the research is.


Pretty clear countries run by women have done better, and I honestly believe it is connected to the ability to relate to the people who are suffering. It's not abstract, it's not statistics, it's not numbers on a board somewhere.


And I think that is really at the heart of what you did. I mean, you you just refused to be silenced. And that, to me, is true leadership. And you slowly began to get some allies who were those allies who finally came and said, wait a minute, I want to hear what she has to say. And you know what? I think she's right.


Yeah, I think so many people think of the fun story as a as a failure of government and so many levels. And and for me, it's it's a reaffirmation of of what government can be. And when you have a whole democracy, because the flint was also a story of what happens when you take away democracy. We were under emergency management. Folks weren't being listened to. There was unelected, unaccountable folks in charge. But when you are able to engage your elected officials, change can happen.


And I think one of our greatest allies was our US Senator, Debbie Stabenow, when she finally kind of understood and one of our other elected officials understood she never stopped fighting for Flint. I mean, she held up like the energy bill at one point and to continue to advocate, to get resources for our city. And for me, that was a reminder of kind of the power of democracy. When it's whole, when it's complete, when it's representative, you actually have people fighting for you.


But there were so many allies. We really kind of witnessed the generosity in the heart of our nation. And we were getting like bottled water deliveries from the UAW in Ohio and a ballroom dance club in Ann Arbor and Girl Scouts in Pennsylvania. And it was it was so affirming. And even to this day when I have a chance to talk about the story, you know, people do care. They have empathy and and they can relate because Flint is not this one off story of this crazy thing that happened over there.


But it's also about other stories that are happening in regards right now, right now, public health issues and exactly disrespect of science issues and democracy issues and public health infrastructure issues and this missing women issue. So there's a resonance to the story. And people have been allies.


Oh, I just love those stories. And I want to ask you how you're feeling now.


Are you optimistic in the wake of the six hundred million dollars settlement, are you feeling that finally these wrongs are being righted even though there's no compensation that will ever fully remedy what was done to the people and particularly to the children? But where do you think things stand now?


You know, people would ask me a lot about, like the investigations and the lawsuits and the accountability and justice. And I would I would refuse to respond. I'm like, I'm a doctor. I'm not a lawyer. Might ask the lawyers and the attorney general, like, my job is the kids. And then as I continue to practice in Flint and work closely with the folks most closely impacted by this crisis, I began to realize how central the concept of restorative justice is to healing and to health.


You can think of it like a wound that won't close until you have some element of justice. And there is all these ongoing traumas that reopen it and it fails to close. So we have to have some sort of justice to move forward. The settlement on the civil cases is a wonderful first step. It's not complete. I've also realized justice is defined differently by by everybody. You can ask ten people what was justice and you'll have ten different responses.


A lot of folks also want to see the accountability, which are the criminal cases, and those are still pending where folks are held accountable for their actions. So I think we're in the right direction. Recovery is long term. That's a big part of my job is reminding folks that this is a long term crisis that has long term sequela. And we need to make sure that we put into place the resources to do this work in the long term.


Well, that's a wonderful way to sum up what you have done. And I love the phrase restorative justice, and I will never think of it again without thinking of it as a wound that needs to be healed sometimes their bodily wounds, sometimes their psychic wounds and spiritual wounds. But at a time in our nation's history and really the world's history, where inequity is growing, where impunity is growing, unaccountability is growing, we need to have leaders like you, Dr.


Mona, who say, wait a minute, we have a higher calling. We are better than this, and we need to try insofar as possible to repair and restore what has been damaged and then try to make it better. I'm so grateful to you and I. Can't wait to see what comes next as you try to exercise restorative justice for the people and children of Flint. Thank you. Thank you very much. Dr. Monas memoir of the Flint crisis is called What the Eyes Don't See, a story of crisis, resistance and Hope in an American City.


You know, I think it's really important to lift up stories of gutsy women like Gloria and Dr. Mona because we need that inspiration. We also need, frankly, to be shown how we're going to make a difference. There's so many problems and issues that confront us, and there's opportunities everywhere for people to step up and make a difference. We could all use some of that inspiration right now. So I hope these women's courage will inspire you and maybe let us know if there's somebody in your life or somebody you admire that you want us to talk to as the podcast goes on, because we want to lift up the stories of gutsy women because we can all walk a little taller and be braver in the pursuit of justice and fairness and equality and truth.


So please help us do that.


You and me both is brought to you by I Heart Radio, we're produced by Julie Zubrin and Kathleen Russo with help from Huma Abedin, Niki Toure, Oscar Floras, Brianna Johnson, Nick Merrill, Lauren Peterson, Rob Russo and llona Valmar. From our engineer is Zach McNiece.


Original music is by Forrest Gray and a big thanks to Riverside EFM. Just imagine we need a day recording platform that could help us make a podcast during a pandemic. And boy, did they step up. If you like. You and me both spread the word. Don't keep it to yourself. You can subscribe to you and me both on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. And while you're there, leave us a review.


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