The University of Saint Joseph hosted “Digging into the Common Read” on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017 in the McGovern Dining Hall. The idea behind Common Read is to foster a love of reading and a greater sense of community through the shared experience of reading the same book – one that brings about critical thinking, conversation, and involvement by all members of the USJ community.
This year’s choice is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The book centers around an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks in the 1950s. While receiving treatment for cervical cancer, doctors took her cells without her knowledge. Her cells, known as HeLa to scientists, were essential in developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Her family was unaware of this for 25 years and did not receive compensation.
Friday’s event featured University of Saint Joseph Assistant Provost for Student Success and Retention Tami Fagan, Ed.D., as the keynote speaker. The Common Read succeeded in resonating with the Mercy Core Values and the University mission – from commitment to women and diversity to integrity and more. The discussion also brought up if the Lacks family should be compensated, if it was ethical for doctors to use her cells, and what the author hoped to accomplish by writing this book.
If this captures your interest, it’s not too late to join the conversation! We have many more events this semester that discuss the ideas, themes, and lessons from the book. All USJ students, parents, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend. Voice your opinions at one of our events or share your thoughts on social media via #USJReads.
Other Events Include:
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