Awards and Recognition

In reverse chronological order, local, state, national and international recognition of Mrs. Henrietta Lacks


This year, the Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group is proud to honor the following people and organizations:

  • Mrs. Diane Wilkes, Woman of the Year
  • Dr. Roland Pattillo, Man of the Year
  • St. Matthew United Methodist Church, Service Award
  • CT Associates-Lyon Homes, Business of the Year

Servant Courtney Speed is the President of the Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group and Dr. Adele Newsonhorst and Carlisa Jones are Co-Chairs of the Virtual Luncheon Program, October 1, 2022.


The Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group is proud to honor the following people and organizations:

  • Rev. Donald Jones, Man of the Year
  • Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Service Award
  • BayVanguard Bank, Business of the Year.

The Baltimore City Council passed Bill 18-0216 to rename Ambrose Kennedy Park to Henrietta Lacks Educational Park on June 25, 2018. Introduced by Councilman Robert Stokes, the bill passed unanimously. The park is located at 1002 Harford Avenue, Baltimore, MD

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery recognized the life of Henrietta Lacks with the installation of a 2017 portrait by Kadir Nelson. The painting was installed on the museum’s presentation wall on the first floor on Tuesday, May 15 and will be on view at the Portrait Gallery through November 4, 2018.

The Virginia state legislature unanimously passed a bill that would create The Henrietta Lacks Commission to examine the feasibility of creating the Henrietta Lacks Life Science Research and Cancer Treatment Center in Southern Virginia.


Baltimore County designated street in Turner Station, Maryland as “Henrietta Lacks Place”.

The state of Maryland designated part of highway 695 in Dundalk, Maryland as “Henrietta Lacks Way”.

The state of Maryland designated the 1st Saturday in August as “Henrietta Lacks Day”.

Television movie on HBO The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, starring Oprah Winfrey premiered.

The Henrietta Lacks (HBO) HeLa Project Exhibit: The Mother of Modern Medicine traveled to several states.

Exhibit honoring Henrietta Lacks kicked off 13-City Tour in D.C at African American Health Equity Summit in D.C.


March 14, 2016, House of Representatives honored Henrietta Lacks for Women’s History Month presented by Hon. Elijah E. Cummings.

California Legislature Assembly Resolution “Circle of Promise Day” honored Henrietta Lacks.

Henrietta Lacks immortalized with portrait at Baltimore City Hall.


“Henrietta Lacks Day” in Baltimore designated March 13, 2015 former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.


Painted portrait of Henrietta Lacks by a junior at Salisbury University hangs at their Richard Henson School of Science and Technology.

Mrs. Lacks is inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.


Lacks Family and NIH make new agreement with the access of the whole HeLa genome data with 2 family members on the HeLa Genome Access Data Committee.

Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School (aka HeLa High) established in Vancouver, Washington.

Memorial plague honoring Henrietta Lacks posted at former home 713 N. Pittsburgh Ave, Turner Station, Maryland.

Henrietta Lacks High School Symposium sponsored by Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.


The Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group is founded.

Virginia Department of Historic Resources honored Henrietta Lacks with a highway marker Halifax County, Virginia.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan has a small Henrietta Lacks exhibit.

Helen Wilson-Roe from England painted oil portrait of Henrietta Lacks and several family members which has been showcased in the Science Museum in London.

Morgan State University honored Henrietta Lacks with a posthumous Doctorate Degree in Public Service.

Commonwealth of Virginia General Assembly House Resolution No. 74 honored Henrietta Lacks.

African American Trailblazers in Virginia History honored Henrietta Lacks as a Trailblazer.