School Visits and Youth Symposium

In the first half of 2012, over 200 students and teachers from regional middle and high schools were invited to the Johns Hopkins medical campus to further engage students outside of the classroom after reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Students were privileged to hear from Mrs.Lacks’ grandson, Ron Lacks, about the evolving relationship between Johns Hopkins and the Lacks family.  Many labs even opened their doors to invite students to see working stem cell labs, including viewing HeLa cells.  Another core portion of the visit to Johns Hopkins for students is a bioethics discussion.

On Monday, March 24, 2014, Johns Hopkins East Baltimore Community Affairs and Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research hosted the 2014 Henrietta Lacks Baltimore City Youth Symposium. In an effort to supplement classroom learning, the symposium invited 350 Baltimore City high school students to Johns Hopkins in an effort to introduce real-life research initiatives, career paths, and discussion based around HeLa stem cells and biotechnology.  The symposium also offered an opportunity for students to further understand bioethics through history and today.  The day concluded with a panel-style Q&A featuring members of the Lacks family.

The video above was filmed on that day and captures key aspects of the program.