The School of Public Health's Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Warren Alpert Medical School's Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs present a series of events exploring the singular contributions of Henrietta Lacks and the ethical questions raised by the use of her biological material.

Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951) was an African American woman whose cancer cells were the source of the HeLa cell line, the first immortalized cell line and one of the most important discoveries in medical research. No consent was obtained to culture her cells, nor were she or her family compensated for their extraction or use.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot will be available to read for free throughout the month of October. The online version of the book is available from the Brown University Library. Hard copies may be borrowed at the School of Public Health, in the 3rd floor Student Lounge, and at the Alpert Medical School, in the Red Academy Room 241.

Film Screening

5:00 – 7:00 pm

Brown University School of Public Health, room 375
121 South Main St. Providence, RI
TV-MA **Warning: The film includes scenes of sexual violence and strong language**

Panel Discussion

12:00 – 1:00 pm
Warren Alpert Medical School, room 170
222 Richmond St., Providence, RI 

  • Chanika Phornphutkul, MD ( A pediatric endocrinologist and director of human genetics at Rhode Island Hospital and its affiliated Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Dr. Phornphutkul is also an associate professor of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
  • Ron Aubert, PhD, MSPH, Provost Visiting Professor in the School of Public Health and at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Dr. Aubert is the Chief Science Officer and lead scientist for Research and Evaluation Analytics, LLC, an independent healthcare consulting group that specializes in epidemiology, health outcomes research, statistical modeling, randomized trials and observational study design, economic evaluation and medical writing.
  • David Orenstein is the News Officer for medicine, life sciences, and public health at Brown University.

        Lunch will be served.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Thurs. October 12

Advancing HIV Prevention Among Men who Have Sex With Men in India: Cultural Approaches, Contextual Challenges and New Strategies

The CHER Lecture Series, presents Beena Thomas, PhD, Deputy Director (Social Scientist) & Head for the Department of Social and Behavioral Research, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Indian Council of Medical Research. Her talk is "Advancing HIV Prevention Among Men who Have Sex With Men in India: Cultural Approaches, Contextual Challenges and New Strategies." 3:00-4:00 PM, Room 245.

Fri. October 13

The Socialist Humanitarian Imperative: Cuba’s Quest for Global Health Equity

The Population Studies and Training Center presents Sean Brotherton, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago for "The Socialist Humanitarian Imperative: Cuba’s Quest for Global Health Equity." 12:00-1:00 PM, 128 Hope St., Giddings House, Department of Anthropology.

Fri. October 13

White Priority and White Class Privilege in the Lives of Good White People

The CSREA presents Shannon Sullivan,Chair of Philosophy and Professor of Philosophy and Health Psychology at UNC Charlotte.This presentation will untangle some of the complex relationships between race and class in contemporary white identity in the U.S. Beginning with an examination of how good white liberals often use intra-race class differences to establish their racial goodness, Sullivan then will challenge the false universalism built into the concept of white privilege. 3:30pm - 5:00pm, CSREA, Lippitt House, 96 Waterman St.

Sat. October 14

Good White People After Charlottesville

The CSREA presents philosopher Shannon Sullivan for a Family Weekend Forum. In her book "Good White People," Sullivan examines the attempts that liberal whites make to distance themselves from the history of white supremacy and differentiate themselves from other, ostensibly more racist, white people. This effort, while understandable, serves to distract them from focusing on efforts to end racial injustice. 11:00-11:50 AM. Granoff Center, Martinos Auditorium.

Mon. October 16

Just Like Us, a play by Karen Zacarías based on the real story of DREAMers that shows the human cost of ending DACA

Rhode Island Latino Arts (RILA) and Trinity Repertory company are co-hosting a reading of Just Like Us. The performance is FREE and open the public. 7:00 pm at the Lederer Theater Center, 201 Washington St., Providence, RI 02903. Reserve your free tickets:

Wed. October 18

The CSREA presents Jennifer Ho (UNC) for “Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture.”

Ho will discuss concepts relating to the ambiguity of race—the ways in which our understanding of racial categories exceeds the boundaries society places around them, particularly by looking at Asian Americans who cannot be neatly typed into boxes.  5:00pm - 6:30pm, IBES 130 (Carmichael Auditorium).

Fri. October 20

L.E.A.D. (Learning & Engaging Around Diversity): An inclusive reading group 

Join fellow School of Public Health faculty, staff, students, and post-docs on the 3rd Friday of each month for School-wide conversations around topics related to diversity and inclusion.

Time: 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Location: Room 375
Topic: Respectability Politics

Mon. October 23

Immigration + Healthcare: What can we do?

The Office of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs of Brown's Alpert Medical School presenrs a panel on immigration and law to educate and equip healthcare and social service providers. 5:30 -7:00 pm. Alpert Medical School, 222 Richmond St., Lecture Hall 170.  Please RSVP.

Thurs. October 26

What Does It Mean for Race to be a Cause of Reproductive Health Outcomes?  Perspectives from Epidemiology, Sociology, and Economics

The Population Studies and Training Center  presents David Savitz, Professor of Epidemiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brown University for "What Does It Mean for Race to be a Cause of Reproductive Health Outcomes?  Perspectives from Epidemiology, Sociology, and Economics." 12:00-1:00 PM, 68 Waterman St. PSTC Seminar Room 205, Mencoff Hall. 

Mon. November 6

Life on the Hyphen

A 4-week discussion group for Asian-American undergraduates to explore how bias, different expectations, and cultural conflicts impact family and social relating, self-concept, and emotional health. Beginning Monday November 6th 12:00-1:00 (CAPS, 5th floor, J. Walter Wilson).  Space is limited; pre-register today!  For info or to register, please contact Heather at 



"If, When, and How to Be an active Bystander" Ruthy Kohorn Rosenberg, Brown University Ombudsperson 9/14/2017  view the powerpoint, Bystander Intervention Strategies, ABC News "What Would You Do?"

Strategies and Approaches to Supporting Undocumented and DACA Students Kevin Escudero, PhD and David Liendo Uriona 5/16/2017

Understanding and Navigating White Privilege Lynn Hernandez, PhD and Marc Peters, PhD 5/2/2017

Overcoming Barriers to Cultural Responsiveness Rick Pinderhughes, PhD 4/19/2017

Inaugural Black History Month Lecture Dr. Mindy Fullilove for "<3/5th's: Assessing the Costs of 400 Years of Inequality" 3/6/2017  watch the video

Private Sector Perspectives with David Casey of CVS 5/6/2016

LGBTQ Rights and Religious Freedom Laws: An Open Forum Discussion 5/3/2016

What Is Racial Bias and What Are its Implications for Public Health? A Brown Community Forum 2/25/2016