OLLU to host ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: A Dream for Social Equity’

The OLLU community is invited to attend “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: A Dream for Social Equity,” Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. in Thiry Auditorium.

This event will feature a presentation by the family of Henrietta Lacks, a black tobacco farmer from Virginia, who posthumously and unwittingly provided the world with what would become HeLa cells, the first immortal human cell line in history. In the half-century following her death, HeLa cells would, without her family’s knowledge, become the key to the eradication of polio, the discovery of telomerase, mapping the human genome, development of the HPV vaccine and advancement of in-vitro fertilization methods.

Lacks’ story has been documented in the book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by Rebecca Skloot and also has been made into a TV movie of the same name, starring Oprah Winfrey as Lacks’ daughter Deborah Lacks.

This event will feature a lecture by members of the Lacks family, followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

The event is free and open to the public.

This an official Dreamweek event.