Detroit's Water Shutoffs: A Public Health Crisis

Wed, Jul 26, 2017 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm


Long, Hot Summer Without Water: The Public Health Crisis of Detroit's Mass Water Shutoffs

What happens when a city shuts off water to a resident's house? What happens when a city shuts off water to tens of thousands of residents? This is what we are witnessing in Detroit: an ensuing public health catastrophe from water shutoffs in a city unwilling to address the needs of its people.

We invite you to join us in this community conversation with medical professionals and organizers coming together to call out the disastrous health impacts of Detroit's mass water shutoffs.

This is event is free to attend and open to the public. Limited FREE PARKING is available (tell attendant you're here for this event):
- Lot 32 (in front of Law School)
- Structure 1 - Gate 3 (across from Law School)

In the 1960s, the notion of a long, hot summer became synonymous with discussions of the structural injustices underlying urban unrest. In the week we observe the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Rebellion, we gather to examine the public health impacts of living with massive water shutoffs. Fifty years later, we are facing a public health emergency of historic proportion.

Researchers have found a significant connection between Detroit's water shutoffs and water-related illnesses, according to a recent study by researchers from Henry Ford Health System’s Global Health Initiative and Division of Infectious Disease in collaboration with We the People of Detroit.

The study showed:
1. Patients admitted to Henry Ford Hospital with water-related illnesses were significantly more likely to live on a block that has experienced water shutoffs. Patients diagnosed with skin and soft tissue diseases were 1.48 times more likely to live on a block that has experienced water shutoffs.

2. Living on a block that has experienced water shutoffs increases the likelihood that the patient will be diagnosed with a water-related illness.

3. Patients who are most likely to experience water-related illnesses resulting from water shutoffs are also the most socially vulnerable, according to the Center for Disease Control’s “Social Vulnerability Index.”

Detroit Equity Action Lab
We the People of Detroit

American Rivers
Coalition to Oppose the Expansion of US Ecology - Detroit, MI
Conscious Community Cooperative ThinkTank - C3
Detroit People's Platform
Detroit Water Brigade
East Michigan Environmental Action Council - EMEAC
Flint Hub
FLOW for Water
Food & Water Watch - Michigan
Freshwater Future
Highland Park Hrc
James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership
Michigan Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation
Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion
Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO)
Moratorium NOW! Coalition
People's Water Board Coalition
Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson, Professor, Unity Urban Ministerial School
Roc Michigan
Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People
St. Peter's Episcopal Church Detroit
The Raiz Up
US Human Rights Network
Water You Fighting For?

Wayne State University Law School Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium
471 Palmer St W, Detroit, Michigan 48202

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