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Annual Black Steel Workers Program


The first Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group’s (HLLG) Steelworkers Program occurred in April 2014 to commemorate the contributions of African-American Steel Workers to the development of Baltimore and the nation. The 2018 program featured Iris Allegra Miller-Powell author of Steel-Town Girl: A Treasure Chest of Memories and honored Mr. Eddie Bartee, III (who served Vice President and President alternately for 32 years, the longest record held in the top five positions in local union history. Powell reflected on the experiences of growing up in the company town of Sparrows Point, where blacks were originally limited to residing on I, J and K Streets, and the thriving community that developed within the confines of the area. The 3rd Annual Steel Workers featured keynote speaker Tony Buba who shared a 14 minute clip of his film Struggles in Steel: Story of African American Steel Workers followed by roundtable discussions with participants who actually worked at Bethlehem Steel.


Commemorative Postage Stamp Campaign

The Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group (HLLG) presented a proposal to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee to affect the commission of such a stamp on December 31, 2013 and again on July 11, 2017. In light of the tremendous contributions made by Mrs. Lacks (via her HeLa cells) to medical research, space exploration, and bioethics, it seems both proper and fitting that she should be recognized via a commemorative postage stamp. We therefore embarked upon a social media campaign. We now have over 1,020 signatures on our campaign for a commemorative stamp of Mrs. Lacks.

The signatures and a letter were sent to the Citizens’ Advisory of the United States Postal Service and copies to the Director and the Deputy Director of the Postal Service. For now, we will keep the petition on the website to secure additional support.Don’t think of this product or service as your third favorite, think of it as the bronze medalist in an Olympic medals sweep of great products/services.


Community Tours

HLLG offers community tours of Turner Station to groups and individuals interested in the historic community. We maintain an ongoing partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bayview resident physicians through its “Foundations of Clinical Excellence” course that posits the idea that physicians should know something about the community they serve to offer the best possible care.

Annual Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group Luncheon


The keynote speaker, Dr. Kamila A. Alexander, is described as a star faculty member in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.

Currently in its third year, the annual luncheon raises funds for the creation of a wax figure of Henrietta Lacks and the support of the Henrietta
Lacks Endowed Scholarship at the Community College of Baltimore County, both in keeping with the organization’s mission. Additionally, the
keynote speaker addresses issues of health equity and the man, woman, and business of the year are honored.

The Henrietta Lacks Commission and the Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center (LSC) Project

The Henrietta Lacks LSC and Commission is a joint effort begun by the Halifax County, Virginia, Industrial Development Authority (IDA), in partnership with the Virginia Legislature; Office of the Governor of Virginia; Henrietta Lacks family; Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group; and The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.  The Henrietta Lacks LSC is currently conceived to be a $50M, 200,000
square-foot, state-of-the-art medical research and treatment facility, to be built in the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority’s Southern Virginia Technology Park (SVTP), a short drive from Henrietta Lacks’ Clover, Virginia home and final resting place.

The Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center will be managed through a foundation, directed by representatives of the stakeholders who will build, operate, advance and sustain its multipurpose mission.  These stakeholders will include the Lacks Family, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Halifax County IDA, resident research institutions, healthcare providers, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, and others as determined by the Henrietta Lacks Commission

Descendants of Henrietta Lacks meet in the Rotunda of Virginia’s Capital Building with Virginia legislators who introduced bills for the establishment of the Henrietta Lacks Commission. From left, Devin Lacks, David Lacks Jr., Thomas Whye, Jeri Lacks-Whye, state Sen. William Stanley, Del. James Edmunds, Veronica Robinson, and Alfred Carter Jr. / March 05, 2018



Annual Henrietta Lacks Essay and Video Competition for Middle and High School Students

Now celebrating its 6 th year, High school students are invited to submit a 300-word typed essay on the contributions of Mrs. Lacks to modern
medicine and why it is important to remember her today. Middle school students must compose a letter to Mrs. Lacks. Reflect on her
contributions to modern medicine and how the use of her cells has affected you or your family. The strongest entries will reflect not only on her
history but also emphasize why her legacy is so important to remember today. Video submissions should include a multi-media video clip (of
images, interviews, etc.), reflecting on the contributions of Henrietta Lacks to modern medicine and why it is so important to remember her
legacy today, not to exceed 3 minutes in length. Prizes include: First Prize: $125.00, Second Prize: $100.00, Third Prize: $75.00

A collage of our Students of HeLa winners. All were recognized during the HLLG Black History Month event on February 25, 2018, at Greater St. John Baptist Church, 209 Walnut Avenue, Turner Station, MD 21222.
Parents, teachers, and loved ones of students were in attendance. State and local politicians also came out to support the student winners. Delegate Ron Metzer and Senator Johnny Ray Salling–both of MD.
Photos by Justus Speed and Hartwell Speed