MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Lesley Larkin, Chair of the President’s Committee on Diversity at Northern Michigan University joined The SUNNY Morning Show with Walt & Mike today to preview a series of events that look at bioethics, racial and social issues and more.
NMU is hosting a Diversity Common Reader Program in April built around “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.
Larkin explained that the book is about a poor Southern tobacco farmer and descendant of slaves whose cells were taken by doctors without her knowledge.
Those cells, which remain alive more than 60 years after Lacks’ death, launched a medical revolution and a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials.
Larkin says her family never saw any profits and did not learn of Lacks’ “immortality” until long after she passed away.
She discussed a series of events coming up at NMU that are tied into the reading of the book, culminated by keynote event on Monday, April 15, will feature David “Sonny” Lacks, Henrietta’s son, and Veronica Spencer, her great-granddaughter.