LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – “We are at ground zero for what a community can do together. If we raise our hands,” proclaimed Dr. Moa Hanna-Attisha before the Michigan State University Class of 2016.
And that’s exactly what she did last year when she told the world Flint’s water was poisoning people. She says this was a daunting task.
“We were dismissed… And we were told we were wrong and I second guessed myself. When people tell you you’re wrong it’s hard not to think that you’re wrong… When you know you’re right, you have to raise your voice.”
For the MSU grad and assistant professor, that’s the message this year’s grads need to hear.
“Sometimes… You need to raise your hand…. The strong, courageous people of Flint, the true heroes of Flint, they raised their hands. Some of them raised their hands with jugs of brown water… And some of them got arrested.”
Even after receiving international acclaim, including a spot on Time Magazine’s 100 most influential list, for Dr. Mona, getting to speak at MSU graduation is still special.
“This is incredible. I’m speaking to the future… It’s all about ‘Spartans Will.’ It’s all about the ability for them to go out, to be leaders, and be the change makers in their communities.”
Some MSU students embraced this, even before the speech.
“A very empowered woman who made such a big difference and is able to see… This is what Spartans are able to do and we’re able to help out and help our community,” said graduating senior Megan Leichtnam.
For everyone on campus today it all came down to one thing:
“Go Green, Go White.”