Common Reading Book

Mona Hanna-Attisha’s (2018) book What the Eyes Don’t See tells the story of crisis, resistance, and hope in the city of Flint, Michigan.

The book details how inequitable policies, fragmented democracy, and inequality shapes African American community life in Flint, Michigan.  The book documents how “misguided austerity policies, broken democracy, and callous bureaucratic indifference placed an entire city at risk.” It examines how polices have often failed to serve the children in need, especially Black children. Writing about water contamination through lead, Dr. Hanna-Attisha writes:

“Poisoning is poisoning.   I couldn’t imagine how the county health department could turn a blind eye, or even a partial blind eye, to the situation simply because of bureaucratic walls and red tape. This wasn’t the kind of issue where you can shrug and pass the buck. We were literally talking about the systematic poisoning of our children” (p. 92).


About the Common Reading Program

The common reading program at Ohio State, Newark aims to connect first-year students through a shared learning experience. The book will be used in many classes throughout  the first year.


Goals of the Common Reading Book:

  • Invites students to immerse in a common intellectual experience during their first year of campus
  • Promotes discussion of contemporary and historical social issues
  • Helps students understand diverse perspectives and the need to value inclusive communities.
  • Helps promote research and service-learning projects through faculty-student collaborations
  • Promotes the productive value of engaging with public policy issues and the need to create a just society.