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New art exhibit honors trailblazing women in Flint history

Bronze busts of boxing champion Clarissa Shields, crusading pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha and others on display in Flint city hall.
steve carmody
Michigan Radio
Bronze busts of boxing champion Claressa Shields, crusading pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha and others on display in Flint city hall.

A new art installation at Flint city hall honors the contributions of women to the city’s history.

The six bronze busts were dedicated on Thursday during ceremonies in Flint’s city hall lobby.

Sculptor Jane Trotter created three of the busts. Trotter says she was inspired to create the art after a walk through downtown Flint and noticing that the statues downtown only honored men.

“I had been out here and seeing all the men who were up and down the street and I said something about that and my group said “we can do that with the women,” said Trotter.

Two-time Olympic Boxing champion Claressa Shields is the youngest of the six women replicated in bronze.

“I feel like, even at 27, I’ve lived a few different lifetimes,” said Shields, “I feel I represent Flint.

Another honoree, pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha was impressed by her bronze bust.

“It’s not about me but it’s about the legacy that I hope to leave to so many young girls who now have other women to look up to and say ‘they did it and I can do it,” said Hanna-Attisha.

95 year old community activist Edith Spencer is the only other living honoree in the exhibit. The three other honorees are community activist Sybyl Atwood, civil rights leader Olive Beasley and community leader Frances Wilson Thompson.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.