This teaching pack is focused on the toxic water crisis in Flint, Michigan, a disaster with profound health implications. A complex network of interrelated factors contributed to the problems in Flint: culture, ethics, society, environment, politics, urban design, economic justice, and governance. The teaching pack is centered on a case study, which outlines the social, economic, health, and policy consequences faced by Flint in the aftermath of a governmental decision to switch the city’s public water supply from Lake Huron to the more corrosive Flint River. The case highlights the role of citizens, scientists, and activists in raising public awareness of the crisis and the toxic long-term effects of lead poisoning on affected children. It also illustrates the challenges and questions such a crisis poses for other communities in the United States and globally.
The teaching pack includes an instructor’s note, role play exercise, and discussion guide with an accompanying teaching graphic, all designed to help students understand the interconnected nature of a complex health issue like Flint's poisoned water, and the complexity of addressing it.
Flint, Michigan: Lethal Water - Teaching Pack. Global Health Education and Learning Incubator at Harvard University 2017. http://gheli.harvard.edu.