On May 17-18, 2014, the Brooklyn Public Library hosted a discussion about genomics at a two-day event examining race, class, gender, and bioethics through the story of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cells were removed during a biopsy in 1951. Her cells have contributed to many medical advancements, including treatments for Polio, Leukemia, and Influenza.
The program was made possible with support from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and funds granted by the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health.
Saturday, May 17, 2014, 1pm-4pm
“Welcoming Spirit Home: A Community Celebration of Henrietta Lacks”
A celebration featured drumming, dance, poetry, song, a panel-discussion and more.
Sunday, May 18, 2014, 2pm-4pm
“Giving Voice to a New Chapter: Descendants of Henrietta Lacks Speak”
David Lacks and Jeri Lacks-Whye, grandchildren of Henrietta Lacks — the unknowing source of the HeLa cell line used to launch the modern era of medicine and science—spoke with scholar Spencer R. Crew, Ph.D., George Mason University, about Henrietta's life and her historical and bio-medical legacy.