The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks April 19th!

Direct from the Seattle Office of Civil Rights:

Seattle University and Mt. Zion Baptist Church are teaming up to bring awareness to social justice issues, with a major community event this spring. In keeping with SU’s mission of empowering leaders for a just and humane world, David (Sonny) Lacks will join a conversation about his mother, science and other issues addressed in, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

Soon to be made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball, this New York Times bestseller takes readers on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers filled with HeLa cells, from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia, to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. It’s a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we’re made of. – Author Rebecca Skloot

 The event is free and open to the public. The conversation will feature a chat with Sonny Lacks, as he speaks about the book and the impact of the phenomenon surrounding his mother’s cells. The discussion will be moderated by Vivian Phillips, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for the Seattle Theater Group and Adjunct Professor in Fine Arts, MFA in Arts Leadership at SU.

 For more information about Seattle University’s Center for Justice in Society and to reserve tickets, please visit:

WHEN: April 19, 2012   7 – 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Avenue,  Seattle, WA 98122

 Contact:  Stacy Howard, Seattle University, 206-890-9013        

 Office, Mount Zion Baptist Church, 206-322-6500

Here’s a flyer on the event:

Sunday Movie: The Corporation

Since #occupywallstreet is still going and getting stronger every day, I thought this Sunday’s movie should reflect what’s going on out there. “The Corporation” is a documentary that I learned a lot about how we got to Citizens United. Just keep clicking the “Up Next” link in the You Tube frame.



Last Night Was Awesome!

The benefit showing of the anti-bullying documentary over at the NW Film Forum went very well! There weren’t a lot of people there, but the ones who were seemed really energized and interested in what GLSEN had to say. The film iteself was really quite well-done, though I must admit there were an awfully lot of white people (yours truly included in that observation) in it as “the voices” of the problem of bullying. This is a long standing issue in the mainstream LGBT community, and something OUTview Online is still working on balancing out.

The film started at 7:15 instead of the 7pm start time advertised in order to give latecomers a chance to make it in without being disrespectful to folks who showed up on time. Dr. Jallen Rix was also there last night. He and I shared the screen for the last of the three part episode, where we discussed the role of gender policing in bullying and the function that religion plays in encouraging bullying in the larger culture. We had a lot of fun during the taping, hanging out at the event last night, and during the post show Q&A with the audience. They were really engaged, and asked excellent questions. One gay man asked for advice about better ways to stand up for trans people, based on a situation he’d been in recently where other gay men had been making fun of a trans person he’d been around at a party. Others shared stories of having been bullied, both in school and as adults, and an overall amazing conversation took place.

For anyone who couldn’t make the event last night and would like to see at least part of what we were talking about, here is the link to part three of the episode on bullying. The link is to the list of the best of episodes from 2010. The bullying bit is about halfway down the page.

Wish you’d been there!