HeLa

HeLa
Henrietta Lacks

If nothing else Black History Month is making visible, people and events hitherto unsung.

Also this month we will celebrate women from STEM.  Science Maggie Aderin Pocock is the obvious choice.  Technology, Anne-Marie Imafidon, and the NASA women, hidden figures, see below.   Can anyone help with a woman engineer, preferably British?

HeLa

It sounds like a name of a chemical from the Periodic table. Say it out loud. A HeLa cell is used in scientific research. It is one of the oldest and most commonly used human cell lines, in research. Cells taken without permission from a black woman suffering from cancer, in the only hospital to take black patients. She later died in great pain, but she left an incredible heritage, as hers were the only cells grown in a lab which would survive for more than a few days. These cells of hers were considered the first immortal cells and were produced and used to  research everything  from  polio, to aids and cancer.

photo of HeLa

Henrietta Lacks from Wikipaedia

The Henrietta Lacks Foundation was founded  by Rebecca Skloot,

author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

It is believed that over 20 tons of her cells have been produced, for research, yet no one knew, until her family were asked to provide a genetic history. She is finally recognized on October 11, in Atlanta, Georgia, Henrietta Lacks’ Day.    The school  Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School in Washington commemorates her. It is so fitting that the 4 letters chosen, for the immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks should result in the word Healer.

©2017ionthecity.com

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Nicola Williams is the first Ombudsman for the Military.

Nicola Williams is the first Ombudsman for the Military.

“While the power structure is still largely white male from a certain social certain class, a white man of a certain age, 50s and 60 will have his consciousness raised through his daughters. As they get older, they are more aware of age discrimination. They want their girls to have the opportunities they had.”

Nicola Williams becomes the Ombudsman for the armed services

Portrait of new Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces Nicola Williams

Previously she was the Service Complaints Commissioner (SCC), which gives her oversight of how complaints are dealt with in all three sections of the military: Army, Navy and Air-force. Her previous post was as Ombudsman to the Cayman Islands, taking her back to her Caribbean roots.

Not bad going for a black girl growing up in South London, where her teacher’s expectation at A levels was to advise her to get a job in Woolworth.

Nicola Williams trained first as a lawyer, then barrister, then judge, Continue reading

Steve the refugee from Germany

Dame Stephanie Shirley came to England as a refugee

Founder of the first all women Tech company.

Stephanie Shirley (later known as Steve) set up an all woman software company back in 1962 and became a billionaire philanthropist, who has never forgotten that she owed her life to the kinder transport, and the generosity of the country, which took her in. She told Sue McGregor who interviewed her, “Having had my life saved, I thought it was important not to fritter it away.” Continue reading

Global Woman

Global woman.

Juliana Ruhfus
Part two

The world needs women of vision, women whose  mission is not just narrow nationalism, but to the benefit of people everywhere.    Juliana Ruhfus describes herself as a television journalist and broadcaster who specializes in investigations and current affairs.

“Journalists really need to globalize.   Crime globalized a long time ago, why shouldn’t we?”

Continue reading

Surgeon Elizabeth Gordon

Surgeon Elizabeth Gordon

Founder member of the Medical Arm of Amnesty International in 1975

As part of an Australian medical team in Vietnam during the war we treated all people regardless of whether they were North or South. This was a proper hospital at Bien Hoa. You could pick out the Viet Cong by their accent. I treated a man with gunshot wounds to his legs. I fixed him up and the same day he was removed from the hospital, by the Vietnamese police.

“That’s when I became aware of torture.”

In 1975 five of us got together and set up the Medical Group of     Amnesty International.

  Dr Elizabeth Gordon FRCS doesn’t trumpet her achievements. She is a precise woman who sees aesthetics, not just in music and art, but in the elegance and simplicity of the instruments which she uses for surgery.  She loves the precision and delicacy of the instruments.

DR.Dr. Gordon Trustee of the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture. 1985

One of the original founders of the Medical Group of Amnesty International 1975

“Why do you want to be a surgeon, are you going to be a missionary? “

Continue reading

Frank Pucelik. NLP originator

Interview with Frank Pucelik.

©2010 Christina@wwom.org
from informal interview with Frank at NLP Conference 2010

“Model is a funny word. For us modeling starts from copying.   When you can copy and actually do what other person can do because you just copy their behaviours.”

“Every person is a walking miracle.”

“The war taught me a lot.   War taught me a bullet gets you if it gets you.   You can be green, you can be purple,  a colonel or a major or a corporal.   You’re nobody special.”

Frank NLP seminar

Frank Pucelik at the Neuro Linguistic conference 2010

“Equality starts with each person.   If I have the ability to meet each person without knowing what they are, to experience them joyfully.   Every person is a walking miracle.   Imagine aliens,  I  don’t know anything about them, and so I get to explore a whole new universe.  A completely different experience.  Without any  judgement , arrogance, or  disrespect.  It is only possible to listen and learn.

Frank Pucelik was one of the three originators of NLP.  One of the  Top-100 US business-trainers, consultant to the Peace Corps and he supports five rehabilitation centers for youth with drug addictions in Ukrainian .

“Richard (Bandler) and I were college kids, studying Fritz Perl and copying what he did.   But we didn’t really understand what we were doing.   Richard  was in his early 20s and I  was returned from Vietnam,  to be a student at the  University of California, Santa Cruz.   Kresge College was an Arts college, what we called touchy feely, it drove us nuts.  This was about 1971.

We damaged people were looking for anything anyone to put ourselves back together. Continue reading

Joy Adeniran

Joy Adeniran

It is something I will always carry with me, trying to have an empathy towards clients, their respective backgrounds.

Understanding where they’re coming from.

It’s not something they can teach you.

Most inspirational women interviewed are well into their career, looking forward Joy. Law studentand reflecting backwards. Joy is at the beginning of her journey. But already she holds beliefs and values of which she is certain.

Just turned 25, she is a student, working on her Masters, undertaking legal work experience.
She is British born of Nigerian heritage, on both sides.   Her father came to study on a scholarship from the Nigerian Government, in the 80s and after his wife followed, he stayed on.

Perhaps a moment of realization that girls were treated differently, was in P.E.    At school being separated from male peers, only being allowed to take part in certain sports.

“I was not set on a particular career, but there are certain things I was interested in, which led me onto the law path.  At school I remember being involved in the school council at a young age, enjoying trying to represent my peers and other students.

My most memorable event was my time in South Africa, Continue reading