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February 27, 2019 | 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Category: Lecture
Location: Faculty/Administration #2339 | Map
656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty

The Humanities Center is proud to present as a part of its Brown Bag Series, a talk by Joanne Sobeck, Associate Dean for Research at the School of Social Work.


Since April 2014, the environmental injustice known as the Flint Water Crisis has directly affected thousands of Flint residents. The extent of harm caused by the human-made crisis may never be fully comprehensible including the consequences on health, productivity, and property values. What is less commonly known is how the residents, who faced unique stressors, responded and how they continue to move forward despite inadequate sociopolitical response. As part of a multidisciplinary team, social work researchers were involved in a study to document how residents addressed the adverse effects of dangerous environmental conditions, their challenges and how they gained access to needed resources. Data were collected using a randomized household sampling method of residents of Flint and comparison communities (n=779). Findings will be shared that illustrate the variety of ways in which the community affected by the ongoing crisis experiences the resulting hardships. Although the water crisis induced periods of stress and mistrust, residents demonstrated adaptive capacities that indicate resilience. It galvanized community competence, boosting natural supports and collective efficacy. By assessing and building upon resilience, communities are enabled to identify and strengthen their ability to survive devastating challenges.

These talks are free and open to the public! We also provide free coffee, tea, and cake!

For more information about this event, please contact Humanities Center at 3135775471 or