Restoration Work Begins at Atlanta’s Herndon Home Museum – 30 May, 2019

Washington (May 30, 2019) – The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced today that important maintenance and repair work will begin at The Alonzo Herndon Home Museum in Atlanta, the historic home of Atlanta’s first black millionaire and founder of Atlanta Life Insurance Company. Under the umbrella of the Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF), the National Trust is bringing its HOPE Crew program to the perform work on the property, part of its partnership with the Fund II Foundation to engage African American youth in learning preservation trades at sites tied to African American achievement and activism.

“The historic Herndon Home, owned by one of the most prominent black families in Atlanta’s history, provides a lens to explore and engage with the city’s role as a center for Black business, education, and culture,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. “We are excited to introduce Atlanta’s youth to the Herndon Home where they will gain tangible preservation experience in the conservation of African American historic places.”

The crew members will be provided by Greening Youth Foundation, a black-owned nonprofit youth corps based in Atlanta. Over a period of several days, the all-African American team will carefully repair, scrape, and re-paint the back porch and elements of the home’s front façade under the supervision of a local master craftsman.

“The Herndon Home Museum deeply values this opportunity to further increase the awareness and appreciation of the significance of the Herndon family legacy and provide for the preservation and care of the Herndon Home Museum and collection,” said Julissa White-Smith, director of the Herndon Home Museum.

HOPE (Hands-On-Preservation-Experience) Crew was created by the National Trust in 2014 to provide young people preservation trades training in window restoration, masonry repair, and other skills at historic sites–primarily those located in national parks. The grant from Fund II Foundation enables HOPE Crew to expand beyond national parks to proactively engage diverse youth in preserving places tied to African American activism and achievement nationwide.

“Rising from slavery to become one of the wealthiest African Americans in the South by 1927, Alonzo Herndon exemplifies the best of what our community can achieve and contribute,” says Linda Wilson, executive director, Fund II Foundation.“Herndon built a business empire, a part of which still exists today, 114 years later. His empire not only enriched his life but the lives of those in the community he served through good business practices and civic responsibility.”

Other past and upcoming HOPE Crew activities made possible with Fund II support include preservation projects at the Nina Simone Childhood Home in Tryon, N.C., the Pittsburgh home of author August Wilson, the home of John and Alice Coltrane in Long Island and six-week intensive internships for architecture students enrolled at two HBCUs—part of Fund II Foundation’s commitment to diversifying STEM fields of education.

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About the Fund II Foundation

Founded by businessman and philanthropist Robert F. Smith, Fund II Foundation makes grants to 501 (c)3 public charities in five areas: 1) preserving the cultural richness of the African-American experience; 2) safeguarding human dignity by giving voice to the voiceless and promoting human rights; 3) conserving the environment, promoting the benefits of the great outdoors to people of all ages and backgrounds; 4) affording music education to nourish both talent and the soul; and 5) sustaining the American values of entrepreneurship, empowerment, and innovation. For more information, visit: | @Fund2F

About the Herndon Home Museum

The Herndon Home Museum (c.1910) is a National Historic landmark located in Historic Vine City, Atlanta constructed by Alonzo F. Herndon, an emancipated slave who became Atlanta’s first black Millionaire, The Herndon Home Museum is operated by the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation, Inc. The mission of the Foundation to advance the Herndon legacy by educating, mentoring and equipping the next generation of entrepreneurs, and its vision is to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in tomorrow’s leaders. Learn more at


The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. | @savingplaces

Young entrepreneurs earn scholarship awards from Alonzo F. Herndon Foundation

Young entrepreneurs earn scholarship awards from Alonzo F. Herndon Foundation

Atlanta’s oldest Black Legal Reserve Company sponsors scholarships to Atlanta College-Bound Seniors




Atlanta, GA (5/10/2019) – On Saturday, May 11th the 2019 class of Herndon Game Changer Entrepreneurship Training Program received over $40,000 in scholarship awards toward achieving their entrepreneurial dreams. Scholarship recipients were sponsored through the two-year program by Atlanta Life Insurance Company, Atlanta’s oldest Black Legal Reserve Company. Since 2014 approximately 26 African American Juniors and Seniors are accepted into the Herndon Game Changer Entrepreneurship Training Program to participate in hands-on business workshops and executive coaching and receive mentorship from minority businesses owners.

The Herndon Game Changer Entrepreneurship Program aims to catalyze generational wealth among American Americans and honor the legacy of Alonzo Herndon, former slave and Atlanta’s first black millionaire. “We emphasize the entrepreneurial elements of the Herndon story, serving the blended ideals of self-help, community, and innovation” said Julissa Smith, managing director for the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation.  “We equip our students beyond high school graduation to shape the character and build the skills and practices needed to build financial wealth.”

Partnering with a local minority business each year, the program challenges participants to resolve a business challenge presented by business owners in a competitive business presentation designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development. The program sought local minority owned bee-keeping company, Honey Bee Goode to engage African American youth in exploring social media marketing and understanding the business models of social entrepreneurship. The Herndon Game Changer Scholarship Awards are the pinnacle of the program for college-bound seniors. Over $40,000 in scholarship and awards were presented to students for their achievements, courtesy of Atlanta Life Insurance company.


About the Herndon Game Changer Entrepreneurship Training Program

The Alonzo F. Herndon Game Changer Entrepreneurship Scholarship program was founded in 2014 to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit in our communities by providing programs that encourage youth to stay in school, recognize business opportunities, and plan for successful futures. In 2020 the program is poised to matriculate over 130 students, including nearly 55 College Scholarship recipients, representing over $200,000 in community and scholarship investment. For more information, visit:

About Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Atlanta Life Insurance Company is Atlanta’s oldest Black Legal Reserve Company. Since 1905 ALIC mission has been to provide financial solutions, expertise, and exceptional service to help customers manage their insurance and investment needs. Current company President Roosevelt Giles is also intent on maintaining the legacy of Founder and Reconstruction Era hero, Alonzo Franklin Herndon, through partnership and support of the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation and its programs. For more information, visit: