David “Sonny” Lacks, son of the heroine of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, will join a panel of UST faculty in a discussion of the book on Thursday, March 8. Dr. Mari Ann Graham, the university’s director of diversity, will moderate the event.

David "Sonny" Lacks

David "Sonny" Lacks

Hosted by Student Diversity and Inclusion Services, the dialogue will take place at 7 p.m. in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium. A book signing will follow; books will be available for sale before and after the panel discussion. This event is free and open to the public.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a critically acclaimed book written by Rebecca Skloot, is the true story of a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells forever changed the field of medical research. Skloot reveals how Lacks’ cells, which were taken without her permission, eventually led to the development of the polio vaccine, treatments for cancer and the emergence of a multimillion-dollar biotech industry. The book was this year’s featured selection read and discussed by Student Diversity and Inclusion Services’ J-Term Book Club.

Sonny Lacks’ visit is sponsored by Student Diversity and Inclusion Services, the Office for Mission and Institutional Diversity, American Culture and Difference, University Lectures Committee, Luann Dummer Center for Women, the English Department and Faculty Development.