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October 4, 2023
7:00 pm
9:00 pm

Lead Poisoning Awareness Week Documentary Screening of "Hiding in the Walls

In recognition of Lead Poisoning Awareness Week (October 22-28), on Thursday, October 26, at 7 p.m., we invite you to attend a free screening of Hiding in the Walls (2022), an award-winning documentary from Baltimore natives David Sebastiao and Angel King Wilson. The film, which premiered in 2022 at the Maryland International Film Festival, unwinds the fraught history of lead paint and explains how lead poisoning became the norm in cities like Baltimore. A Q&A with the film creators will follow.

About Hiding in the Walls:

Millions of people in America today are living with lead poisoning or complications from chronic lead exposure. Lead-based products — especially paint — are commonplace in houses built before the 1970s, and prolonged exposure can have detrimental effects on health, brain development, and cognitive functioning. A child with lead poisoning is more likely than their peers to struggle academically, experience behavioral issues, and even have interactions with the criminal justice system. Yet despite its known risks, the use of lead-based paint in American homes persisted for more than 50 years after it was banned by the League of Nations in 1922.

In cities like Baltimore, Maryland, where the history of lead paint coincides with a history of racially discriminatory housing policies, the ongoing epidemic of lead poisoning has had a lopsided effect on black communities and neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. The growing awareness of lead’s developmental impacts have created a harmful stigma for lead poisoning survivors, and a destructive financial industry has emerged to prey on those who have been awarded legal settlements.

Hiding in the Walls offers a look at the unseen dangers of lead poisoning in America, re-contextualizing the issue as not merely a symptom but a root cause of many cyclical issues that communities face. It unwinds the fraught history of lead paint in low-income housing, explains how lead poisoning became an acceptable norm in urban America, and follows the adult survivors who are on a mission to reclaim the narrative.


900 S Carey StrnSte. 1
Baltimore, 21223