FALASHA ZUEND | DECEMBER 23, 2021
On October 13, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed The Lacks Family for a special dialogue at WHO headquarters in Geneva, acknowledging the legacy of Henrietta Lacks, and her contribution to revolutionary advancements in medical science. The Lacks Family was honored to receive the WHO Director-General’s award, recognizing her world-changing legacy.
Upon accepting the award on behalf of his late mother, Lawrence Lacks said, "We are moved to receive this historic recognition of my mother, Henrietta Lacks -- honoring who she was as a remarkable woman and the lasting impact of her HeLa cells. My mother's contributions, once hidden, are now being rightfully honored for their global impact."
"My mother was a pioneer in life, giving back to her community, helping others live a better life, and caring for others," he added. "In death, she continues to help the world. Her legacy lives on in us, and we thank you for saying her name - Henrietta Lacks."
This is not just a historic moment – it is a worldwide movement.
On 13 October 2021, Dr Tedros welcomed the Lacks Family for a special dialogue at WHO headquarters in Geneva, where Henrietta Lacks was posthumously awarded. One year later, WHO appointed Henrietta Lacks' son Lawrence Lacks, Sr., and his granddaughters, Victoria Baptiste and Veronica Robinson; and Alfred Lacks Carter, Jr., Henrietta Lacks’ grandson, as WHO Goodwill Ambassadors for Cervical Cancer Elimination. The appointment recognizes their efforts to champion cervical cancer prevention and to preserve the memory of Henrietta Lacks, who died from cervical cancer in 1951.
Follow British TV Reporter Seyi Rhodes as he traces the history behind vaccine hesitancy in black and brown communities, revealing the injustices contributing to mistrust of medical science. Featuring Henrietta Lacks' great-granddaughter nurse Victoria Baptiste, RN BSN, son Lawrence Lacks, Sr., and granddaughter Antonetta Flood.
Watch the unveiling of the statue of Henrietta Lacks in Royal Fort Gardens, University of Bristol, which commissioned local artist Helen Wilson-Roe to create the first public statue of a Black woman made by a Black woman in the UK. This unveiling features The Lacks Family and remarks by Jeri Lacks Whye, Henrietta's granddaughter, and was streamed live as part of the HELA100 virtual colloquium honoring Henrietta Lacks’ impact seventy years to the day since her untimely death with cervical cancer.
Listen to Henrietta Lacks' great-granddaughter Victoria Baptiste and Bloodworks' Dr. Ashley Ellis share the lessons their families want us all to learn from their lives, and why diverse participation in medical research, such as the All of Us Research Program, is vital.
Henrietta Lacks' great-granddaughter Veronica Robinson
discusses historical injustices that led to medical mistrust
and her family's work to empower black and brown communities
to get educated on the COVID-19 vaccine to make informed decisions with Chicago's WGN Medical Watch.
Featured on the award-winning series, Black History In Two Minutes, concise historical episodes on the African-American experience. Narrated by renowned historian, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and executive produced by Robert F. Smith.
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