President's Advisory Council on Minorities - Creating Community Through Conversation: Diversity Book Discussion

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO:
 CREATING COMMUNITY THROUGH CONVERSATION: Diversity Book Discussion

Our first selection is “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.  This book raises questions around ethics in research, ownership of scientific discoveries and patient rights. 

Join us as we create a dialogue about diversity that will explore the convergence and divergence of the complex elements around diversity including race, ethnicity, gender, poverty, language, environmental factors, education, and ability.

***Please come prepared to share a passage from the book that means something to you in an emotional, scientific, ethical or other way that is truly striking.
 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
You can purchase a copy of the book in the University Bookstore located in Thwing Center   

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. The author takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. 

"These cells became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in-vitro fertilization, and more. “ –Rebecca Skloot
 
All sessions will be held in Adelbert Hall’s Toepfer Room from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Feel free to bring your lunch.

Part I: Life   5/25/2011 To Register: Click Here
Part II: Death 6/29/2011 To Register: Click Here
Part III: Immortality 7/27/2011 To Register: Click Here


 

Case Western Reserve University

Henrietta Lacks

(August 18, 1920 - October 4, 1951)

was an African American woman who was the unwitting source of cells from her cancerous tumor, which were cultured by George Otto Gey to create an immortal cell line for medical research. This is now known as the HeLa cell line.


All discussion sessions will be held in Adelbert Hall’s Toepfer Room from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Feel free to bring your lunch.


Part I: Life 5/25/2011
To Register: Click Here
Part II: Death 6/29/2011
To Register: Click Here
Part III: Immortality 7/27/2011
To Register: Click Here