Why We Need a Black-Feminist Centered Bioethics in the Age of Gene Editing

Photo of Victoria during the workshop, with a board that reads "Race, Genetics, and Reproduction."

Communications Coordinator Victoria Massie facilitated a thought provoking workshop discussion at the Black Women for Wellness Conference, Power Manifesto, on October 19, 2017.

CRISPR gene editing tools have been touted as the technology of 2017, capturing both the scientific and public imagination for what kind of human future we want to write into our DNA. But what kind of future does this look like, and who gets to participate? From the development of gynecology through experimentation on enslaved black women, to the theft of Henrietta Lacks’ cell line for more recent scientific advancements, history shows black women are often the technology on which society’s futures depend, and are often left behind. The goal of this workshop is imagine what a black-women centered bioethics – grounded in the principles of equity, anti-racism, and reproductive justice – can teach us in the age of gene editing.

Image courtesy of Susan Fogel