SXSW 2022

Experiment to Empowerment- Tuskegee Descendants


The Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee, conducted by the U.S. government, ended just 50 years ago. More than 600 Black men in Tuskegee, Alabama were falsely made to believe they were receiving free medical care – and more than a hundred men died from syphilis or its complications by the end of the study. Many, for good reason, have seen this unspeakable tragedy as a warning sign to avoid modern medical interventions. But today, the descendants of the Tuskegee Study want to speak out and change their legacy. Their aim is to enable the Black community to become healthier, safer, and more empowered in their own health decisions. Come learn from their history and help create a new legacy.

Related Media


  1. It's ok to have questions about your medical care, the important thing is to know where to go to get the facts.
  2. The Tuskegee descendants are encouraging all community members to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. The Tuskegee experiment was an unspeakable crime that highlights the continued inequities in medical care among the Black community.



Meg Rushton, VP, Brand & Communications, The Ad Council

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Presentation
  • Track: Civic Engagement
  • Track 2 Media Industry
  • Level: Beginner

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