Community Post

A Conversation with David (Sonny) Lacks son of Henrietta Lacks

Seattle University and Mount Zion Baptist Church are partnering to bring awareness to social justice issues, with a major community event. In keeping with SU’s mission of empowering leaders for a just and humane world. David (Sonny) Lacks will join a conversation about his mother, science and other issues addressed in the book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” This conversation will feature a discussion with David (Sonny) Lacks, as he speaks about the book and the impact of the phenomenon surrounding his mother’s cells. The discussion will be moderated by Vivian Phillips, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for the Seattle Theater Group and Adjunct Professor in Fine Arts. Rachel Katzenellenbogen, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, will give a brief summation on the current state of cervical cancer research.

Soon to be made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball, this New York Times bestseller takes readers on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers filled with HeLa cells, from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia, to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. It’s a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we’re made of. Author Rebecca Skloot

This event is free, open to the public, and appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, April 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Ave.

To assist with planning, please make reservations at

For more information about Seattle University’s Center for the Study of Justice in Society, please visit: or e-mail us at [email protected].

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