WWU Plans Events to Promote One Read, Henrietta Lacks Story
|8/18/2011||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
William Woods University faculty and staff have planned a number of activities during September in conjunction with the Daniel Boone Regional Library’s One Read program. This year’s book, chosen by a public vote, is “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” a non-fiction work by Rebecca Skloot.
Skloot is an award-winning science writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and many other publications. She specializes in narrative science writing. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” her debut book, took more than a decade to research and write, and instantly became a New York Times best-seller.
One Read, now in its 10th year, is a community-wide reading program that encourages adults of all ages to read one book and participate in thought-provoking discussion and activities. All events at WWU are free and open to the public.
Henrietta Lacks was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization and more.
Known as HeLa to scientists, Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance.
Author Rebecca Skloot 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, Va.—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.
This story of the Lacks family explores the collision of ethics, race and medicine and follows a daughter’s search for the mother she never knew.
Following is a list of One Read activities planned at William Woods University. All events take place at 7 p.m. in the Library Auditorium unless otherwise noted.
Sept. 1—“The Way of All Flesh”
A 53-minute BBC documentary about the Henrietta Lacks story. It will be especially helpful for those who have not yet read the book, but want some idea of its content. Dr. Greg Smith, WWU associate professor of English and film, will lead a discussion.
Sept. 8—“From Separate to Equal”
A documentary about General Hospital in Kansas City. At the turn of the 20th century, African-American doctors, nurses and patients were excluded from most Kansas City area hospitals. The realities of segregation created the need for Black health care institutions. The film tells the dramatic story of some of greater Kansas City’s African-American health care pioneers and their efforts that led to the creation of Black hospitals and finally to the complete integration of the health care system. Dr. Greg Smith, WWU associate professor of English and film, will lead a discussion.
Sept. 12—Medical Experimentation in the 3rd Reich
During World War II, a number of German physicians conducted painful and often deadly experiments on thousands of concentration camp prisoners without their consent. Dr. Shawn Hull, WWU associate professor of history, with expertise on German history, will draw comparisons between the unethical medical experimentation carried out during the Third Reich and the case of Henrietta Lacks here in the United States in the 1950s.
Sept. 13—A Life-saving Vaccine
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. At least 50 percent of sexually active people will have genital HPV at some time in their lives. Dr. Katharine Mixer Mayne, WWU assistant professor of biology, will give a presentation on Cervical Cancer and the HPV vaccine, Guardasil, which protects females against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers.
Sept. 19—Critical Thinking, Readers Theater, and the Themes of Henrietta Lacks
This interactive session will emphasize the various themes of this work through a readers theater presentation by Dr. Betsy Tutt, professor of education, and some of her students. NOTE: THIS PRESENTATION WILL BE AT 4 P.M.
Sept. 21—Race and Class in American Science and Medicine
A presentation by Steve Hageman, WWU instructor of history.
A presentation by Steve Hageman, WWU instructor of history.
Sept. 22—Health Professionals’ Panel Discussion
A panel of health professionals will discuss issues from the book and how they play out in Mid-Missouri. The panel comprises Dr. Thomas Cooper, a retired physician formerly with University of Missouri Health Care; Dr. Ellis Ingram, senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion, and an associate professor and director of the cytology section at the University of Missouri-Columbia with a specialty in early cancer detection; and Traci Wilson-Kleecamp, diversity coordinator for the University of Missouri School of Medicine.
Sept. 27— "Miss Evers' Boys"
A 1997 HBO television film running 118 minutes, the film tells the story of the Tuskegee experiment, a U.S. Federal Government secret medical experiment on poor African Americans in the years 1932-1972, designed to study the effects of untreated syphilis. Dr. Katharine Mixer Mayne, WWU assistant professor of biology, will lead a discussion.
Sept. 29 —One Read Art Reception
Reception for artwork created by students of WWU art professors, Bob Elliott, Terry Martin and Jane Mudd, using the theme, “The Art of Science,” Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Sept. 29—A Son’s Perspective
Hear what Henrietta Lacks’ son, David (Sonny) Lacks, has to say about his mother’s case and pose questions via videoconference, live from Columbia College.
Programs offered by William Woods University are subject to change, and additional programs may be added. Please check the WWU website (WilliamWoods.edu) for the latest information or contact Mary Ann Beahon, director of university relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (573) 592-1127.
The book cover of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”
Henrietta Lacks and her husband, David "Day" Lacks