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Actress Talks Henrietta Lacks, Working with a Media Titan and a new Film Project


Actress Talks Henrietta Lacks, Working with a Media Titan and a new Film Project

ATLANTA, GA – Kyanna Simone Simpson is a professionally known actress and student at The University of Georgia. Once interested in multiple occupations from chef, lawyer, fireman, teacher and more, Kyanna realized she could emerge herself in all types of occupations and characters through acting. In 7th grade, she met actor Tony Vaughn (Tyler Perry’s Meet The Brown’s) and asked to audition for him in the grocery store parking lot. He would become her first mentor.

In July 2016, Kyanna landed the role playing the younger version of Oprah Winfrey’s character, Deborah Lacks, in HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”. The film, an adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s bestselling book of the same name, chronicles Henrietta daughter, Deborah’s search, along with journalist Rebecca Skloot, to learn about the mother she never knew and understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs that continue to change lives and medicine forever.  
Kyanna says, “I enjoyed every moment I got to have with Ms. Winfrey. From the life stories in the hair and makeup trailers to the one on one conversations we had in Baltimore. I felt as though I met a true kindred spirit and we have so much in common personality wise! She encouraged and supported me so much as I took on the role of Young Deborah.”
“KeeKee” as she is known on and off the set, is a native of Atlanta, GA, and known professionally as Kyanna Simone Simpson. She is currently working with actor Matthew McConaughey on the film, White Boy Rick and can be seen in more productions such as Being Mary Jane (BET), Law and Order, SUV (NBC) and the film “A Christmas Blessing” (TV One).

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Celebrity photographer and disabled Vietnam veteran Jerome Dorn embodies the very definition of resilience. Born in Philadelphia, the fifth of seven children, Dorn stayed focused throughout his youth, eventually obtaining his degree in Criminal Justice. Dorn has worked with the Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Justice, World Wide Detective Agency, and several other high profile security groups. Throughout his successful career, Dorn wrestled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an aftereffect of his military service. Battling the pain and debilitating effect of PTSD, Dorn found comfort behind the camera. Photography proved to be not only therapeutic, but life changing as well. Dorn picked up his first camera in 1970 while serving in Vietnam and knew instantly that behind the lens was where he belonged. His shooting style and photographs were special, generating a buzz in the industry. In 1985, he began his career in photojournalism, working in a variety of genres. Dorn’s credentials include fashion, lifestyle photography, photojournalism, and celebrity/red carpet coverage. Working with MSNBC, Jet Magazine, and major publications in Philadelphia and around the country, Dorn has had the honor of capturing the images of hundreds of notable celebrities and politicians including President Barack Obama, George Bush Jr, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson, Rihanna, Snoop Dog, Will Smith, and Tyler Perry. Photography has sent Dorn around the globe, inspiring his passion for civil activism. In 1995, Dorn assembled and led a group of forty-two men to the Million Man March. Together, they spent five days walking from Philadelphia to Washington DC. In his travels, Dorn observed a common theme amongst the youth of the world. Many of the children he encountered seemed lost. Understanding that opportunities for at-risk youth are minimal, Dorn was inspired to make a difference. Established by Dorn in 2011, InDaHouseMedia was built on the idea that there is room in the house for everyone. With InDaHouseMedia, Dorn’s mission is to provide the future generation with positive direction through sports, music, and photography.

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