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.
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.