2019 Game Changer Gala Tickets Are Available

Click the ticket below to be redirected to our 3rd Annual Herndo Game Changers Gala Event Website. 


Ticket Details

$250 Individual Ticket ($150 for Museum Members)

Be our guest and enjoy a live jazz band, open bar with craft cocktails, a 3 course Beefsteak dinner and good old-fashioned exuberance!

$500 Friends Level Sponsor

CoupleSeating and Dinner for Two and Listing on event site and souvenir program

$2000 Patron Sponsor

VIP positioned seating for dinner (8 seats) and listing on event website and souvenir program. Patron sponsors receive an acknowledgment within the event slideshow presentation.

The Herndon Legacy relies on community participation and you can help us match our Platinum Sponsor, Atlanta Life Insurance Company at $75,000, and reach our $150,000 goal.

Alonzo F. Herndon included in Georgia Middle-School Education Requirement

Alonzo F. Herndon included in Georgia Middle-School Education Requirement

Atlanta Life supports Herndon Home Museum in serving as an educational resource

The argument is for the celebration of identity, exploration of interactive education and aligning your discipline with the Herndon Home Museum. Each year the Herndon Home Museum sees over 1,000 students and educators and with student tours comes non-traditional visibility to the Herndon Home Museum. Larger than this is the opportunity, in partnership with the Atlanta Public School System, to do something amazing for the 250,000+ children studying American and Georgia History each year.

Celebrate an Atlanta Identity

At the Herndon Home Museum, our vision is to advance the Herndon Legacy to educate, mentor and equip the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs. The Herndon Legacy, beginning at the turn of the 19th century, has continually engaged our neighbors in the stories of their ancestry. As an inextricable part of the community fabric, we maintain the rich and long-standing history of Historical Neighborhoods and the American Heroes our children deserve to know.

A Character portrayal of Reconstruction and its impact on American life, Mr. Herndon’s prominence and influence are enhanced by his family life. The Herndon Legacy continues today through the programs and opportunities offered by the Herndon Home Museum.

Explore Interactive Education

There’s no shortage of research indicating the benefits of museum visits for children. They can provide memorable, immersive learning experiences, provoke imagination, introduce unknown worlds and subject matter, and offer uniquely rich educational environments. The Herndon Home, first built 1908-1910 is significant because of its association with Alonzo Franklin Herndon, an African American Reconstruction Era hero who was born into slavery but whose life and legacy serves as example of the tradition of racial solidarity and self-help that epitomized the period of reconstruction (1863-1877). The Herndon Home Museum is also significant for its association with Herndon’s wife, Adrienne, who designed the residence and taught at Atlanta University, and his son Norris, who preserved the legacy of his Father, Atlanta’s first Black Millionaire, and his own contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000, the Herndon Home is a National resource of historical understanding and critical thinking that helps students become more excited about their school subjects. The Herndon Home Museum’s thematic units on Reconstruction and the New South era supports critical thinking skills by explicitly mirroring real disciplinary challenges and questions. Understanding is also reinforced through engaging group conversation and posing challenging open-ended questions. Scripted walking tours are 45 minutes and provide a guided exploration of articles and artifacts that excites.

Align your discipline

Alonzo F. Herndon is included in the 4th and 8th grades Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) for Social Studies Learning Standards, overlapping both United States History, from revolution to reconstruction, and Georgia Studies and the New South. Through outreach to teachers, administrators, and State Education partners the Herndon Home Museum can be made of service to a quarter of a million Georgia students. There are currently 181 school districts across the state of Georgia, including 2,200 schools. According to the 2018 State Department of Education enrollment report, this also includes approximately 135,000 fourth-grade and 134,000 eighth-grade students.

Fourth-Grade students across the State end their academic year in the study of the American Reconstruction Period toward the “Historical Understanding Goal SS4H6” of analysis of the details of Emancipation, Sharecropping, and Jim Crow Law and practice. These fourth-grade students are also required to meet economic understanding goals each year. These objectives are easily connected through Mr. Herndon’s famous designation as Georgia’s First Black Millionaire and artifacts from his lifetime.

Georgia Eighth-Grade students spend their entire academic year focusing on Georgia Studies. This means that 12 and 13-year-old children enrolled in GA schools and their teachers aspire to Historical Understanding standard SS6H6 on the Reconstruction on Georgia, and SS8H7 focusing on the key political, social, and economic changes that occurred in GA during the New South. This section of the State of Georgia Education Standards lists Mr. Alonzo F. Herndon, among Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois as individuals that advanced the rights of African Americans in the New South Era.

GSE Touchpoints 

  • 4th Grade – SS4H6 Analyze the effects of Reconstruction on American life.
    • Emancipation
    • Sharecropping
    • Jim Crow
  • 8th Grade – SS8H7 Evaluate key political, social, and economic changes that occurred in Georgia during the New South Era.
    • 1906 Race Riots
    • Atlanta Life Insurance Company
    • The Niagara Movement

Thank you for preserving the Herndon Legacy

In closing, the Herndon Home Museum as a National Historic Landmark and the original residence of Alonzo Herndon serves as a beacon to the persistent value of our community history. Owned and operated by the Alonzo F. and Norris B Herndon Foundation, with lead funding support from Atlanta Life Insurance Company, we are excited to continue our work-leveraging our strong legacy preserving the Herndon Legacy through an ongoing community partnership and serving as an educational resource.


Herndon Home Museum Tour FAQ

  • Maximum Tour Capacity is 60 students per hour
  • Tour-based study guides can be developed with advance notice
  • The Vine City MARTA station is a 5-minute walk away
  • Free private parking
  • Free Wi-Fi connections
  • Restrooms and Interior and exterior meeting and break rooms
  • Resources for local businesses and eateries

Herndon Founders Day Summer Soiree

Welcome, and thank you for your support! 

 The Herndon Founders Day Summer Soiree had over 80 registrations from our community and attendees showed up well-dressed and ready to celebrate.

With a decadent, hor devours menu, live music, attendee gifts and open bar – Founders Day was just a rehearsal for what is to come.

On Friday, November 1st, we celebrate your contributions to the Herndon Foundation and advancements to building generational wealth in our annual Herndon Game Changer Scholarship Fundraiser.

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: fund2foundation.org | @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 www.herndonhome.org.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
SavingPlaces.org | @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: www.herndonhome.org

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: http://atlantalifeins.com

Winter Annual Book Signing Event 02/23/2019

Join Authors Chris Rutledge and Dr. Karcheik Sims Alvarado for discussions on both of their books and their creative interpretations of African American History through their literary works.

This event is free and open to the public –  Registration Required – Tickets Here 

About the Authors

Chris Rutledge, Author of Asclepius 

Chris M. Rutledge is originally from Chicago, IL and currently resides in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he also pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He began his creative writing by penning short stories in 1997, later started a novel, then subsequently transitioned into screenwriting in 2009 after taking a screenwriting course at Emory University. The transition to screenwriting was appropriate since Chris has a strong interest in writing, fused with a passion for film. He has written several feature-length screenplays and a five-episode short film series. Chris decided to “reverse engineer” one of his screenplays into a novel, which would eventually become his first published novel, “Murder at Venegoni’s”. Chris currently juggles both screenwriting and novel writing and plans to write future novels based on his screenplays and vice versa. He is a huge fan of Boxing, so there’s usually one Boxing reference in each of his stories.

Dr. Karcheik Sims – Alvarado, Author of Atlanta and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968

For nearly twenty years, Dr. Karcheik Sims-Alvarado has studied the history and culture of African Americans throughout the Black Atlantic World. Whether in the classroom, museum, or in the field, she has sought to document and teach the African-American odyssey through various mediums.
As the CEO of Preserve Black Atlanta, a non profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to identifying, recording, and preserving African-American history and culture, Dr. Sims-Alvarado has developed a model for utilizing historical and cultural assets as catalysts for economic and community development.
She has worked on several historical assignments researching and documenting historic business districts, including Auburn Avenue and Downtown Atlanta. Dr. Sims-Alvarado has worked with some of Atlanta’s leading historical institutions and museums: the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Atlanta History Center, and The Herndon Home Museum.
Dr. Sims-Alvarado received a Ph.D. in History from Georgia State University. She is also a multi-recipient of the prestigious National Endowment for Humanities Summer Institute Fellowship with the Georgia Historical Society and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.
Dr. Sims-Alvarado is the author of the newly published book, the Atlanta and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968, with Arcadia Press – a pictorial history of the Modern Civil Rights Movement.

Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS) Visits the Herndon Home Museum – January 2019

Airing Saturday, February 1st, the Georgia Radio Reading Service Program, “Out and About” with host Jody Franco provides a descriptive tour of the Herndon Home Museum. 

About Jody Franco

A native Atlantan, Jody Franco has been a volunteer in the community since she was a teenager. In the late 1970’s, she was the first paraprofessional hired by Jewish Family and Children’s Services to coordinate services for several hundred Soviet Jews who arrived from the former Soviet Union. A decade later, she was elected president of the agency and also was awarded the Abe Schwartz Young Leadership Award by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
Her affection for the written word has manifested itself in many ways. In the past, Jody taught high school English and for the past 30 years, she has been a partner in The Write Time, a company that writes and produces high-end customized newsletters for corporations. In addition, Jody is a Braillist certified by the Library of Congress. For the past 12 years, she has been a weekly volunteer reader for the Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS) for the Visually Impaired. And for the past two and one-half years, Jody has produced a monthly one-half hour radio program for GaRRS called ‘Out and About’.

About the GRRS 

Founded in the Mid-1970s by Jim Cashin, as the Greater Atlanta Radio Reading Service for the blind and print handicapped worked with Atlanta’s flagship daily newspapers—then The Atlanta Constitution in the mornings and The Atlanta Journal in the evenings—to be read over special “one station” radio receivers that would be donated to individuals who were visually impaired. Today Jim’s venture has grown into the statewide 24 hours/day, 7 days/week service called GaRRS, standing for The Georgia Radio Reading Service.

Check out the “Out and About” Interview and Tour below and learn more about the GRRS here. 

Check out the Herndon Home Museums “Out and About” Interview and Tour below 



January 2018


Museum Contact: Julissa Smith, Managing Director

Phone: 404.581.9813

Email: jwsmith@herndonhome.org

FAIC Contact: Tiffani Emig

Phone: 202-750-3346

Email: temig@conservation-us.org



ATLANTA, THE HERNDON HOME MUSEUM announces that it is one of 80 institutions from across the country selected to participate in the the Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program.

CAP helps museums improve the care of their collections by providing support for a conservation assessment of the museum’s collections and buildings. The museum will work with a team of preservation professionals to identify preventive conservation priorities. The final assessment report will help the museum prioritize its collections care efforts in the coming years.

The core of the Herndon Home’s mission is to display the Herndon Family Collection, conduct research, and inspire another generation of business leaders and we fully expect that through our partnership with the CAP program our immediate service area will benefit from increased access and consistent information from tours of the Herndon Home Museum” said Julissa Smith, Managing Director for the Herndon Foundation

“Simply by applying for the CAP program, The Herndon Home Museum has shown a commitment to preserving cultural heritage,” said Tiffani Emig, Programs Director for FAIC.

The CAP program is administered by FAIC through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal grant making agency that supports museums and libraries.


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Aboutt the Herndon Home Museum

The Herndon Home Museum is located at 587 University Place. The Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation, founded in 1950 by Norris Herndon, is an homage to his father, Alonzo Herndon, an emancipated slave who became Atlanta’s first black millionaire. Alonzo was an American barber and entrepreneur who founded the Atlanta Life Insurance Company (now, Atlanta Life Financial Group), one of the oldest minority-owned companies in the nation.


Since its inception, the Foundation has been a major benefactor to metro-Atlanta and national institutions and organizations.  Since 1983, the Foundation has been committed to the financial support and operation of the Herndon family residence as a Home Museum and in 2000, the Home was added to the distinguished list of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Herndon Home Museum is open Tuesdays and Thursdays for Walk in Tours and reservations are available Monday through Saturday. The mission of the Foundation is 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 www.herndonhome.org.


About FAIC

FAIC, the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works, supports conservation education, research, and outreach activities that increase understanding of our global cultural heritage. Learn more about FAIC at www.conservation-us.org/foundation.


About IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram .

Atlanta Life Insurance Company celebrates 113 years of service

Immediate Release: 1 September 2018, Atlanta, Georgia

Nobel Museum highlights the contributions of ALIC Policyholder, Martin Luther King Jr.

Snap-shot of Martin Luther King Policy. 1957

The History of the World is but the Biography of great men

Four years before his own assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his dynamic leadership of the Civil Rights Movement and his steadfast commitment to achieving racial justice through nonviolent action. Dr. King’s legacy will be honored through the September 2019 in A Right to Freedom – Martin Luther King, Jr., the newest exhibition at the Nobel Center in Stockholm, Sweden, which is entirely focused on the Civil Rights icon and the struggle for the equal worth of all people.

An Exhibition with rich content

A Right to Freedom, explores the comprehensive story of Dr. King’s life, including his childhood, Nobel journey, and details of his last years.  One of these details includes the network of community leaders and businesses that supported the work of the Civil Rights Movement. Atlanta Life Insurance Company is proud to be a partner in this exhibit, contributing the original life insurance policy purchased by Dr. and Mrs. King in 1957, a mere seven years before his assassination. A symbol of not only the reach of Atlanta Life Insurance Company, but also the policy also speaks to the black businesses and community leaders that served as a financial guardian of the Movement and followed the leadership of Dr. King and his ideals, thereby expanding his ability to effect change beyond the work of his own life.

Dr. Karcheik Sims-Alvarado, ten-year Herndon Scholar and Nobel Museum exhibit consultant spoke on how original artifacts contextualize the legacy of Dr. King.  “Alonzo Herndon’s only son, Norris Herndon understood the relevance of archiving the insurance policy of Dr. King. Serving as the only original artifact at the Nobel Museum that has a direct link to the slain civil rights leader, it helps visitors to really put into perspective the real danger that Dr. King faced daily in pursuit of securing voting and civil rights legislation for African Americans. Archiving these treasured documents make the work of the Herndon Home and Atlanta Life Insurance Company.”

The Relay

Historically, Atlanta Life Insurance Company, one of the nation’s oldest Black Legal Reserve Companies, did not watch silently from the sidelines as blacks made strives for freedom and equality. Our Founder, former slave and reconstruction era hero, Alonzo Franklin Herndon, instilled in this company a sense of guardianship of black dignity and paved the way for the innumerable ways Atlanta Life Insurance Company would also serve its social corporate responsibility.

The decision of Dr. King to commit his life to the fair and equal treatment of all people was a decision to align himself with the silent heroes of African American history. Heroes who can be credited with building an enterprise with a prevailing social consciousness that could undergird the efforts of families and small businesses that served the movement. “Supporting the struggle for economic dignity, civil rights and the general uplift of Black America and the struggle against racism and bigotry has been a way of life for Atlanta Life over the years.” Jesse Hill Jr., Atlanta Life President 1973.

We believe that our success depends on our ability to support, embolden, and equip our customers for life. “Since December 1905 the mission of Atlanta Life Insurance Company has been to provide financial services solutions, and risk management products in order to help customers manage their financial futures.” Roosevelt Giles, Atlanta Life Insurance Company, Chairman of the Board. Under Mr. Giles leadership Atlanta Life insurance is 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 entrepreneurship training, and scholarship programs. To learn more about Atlanta Life Insurance Company, and our commitment to serving our community please contact the Herndon Foundation at 404.581.9813 or visit http://atlantalifeins.com. For details on A Right to Freedom – Martin Luther King, Jr., visit the Nobel Center website at https://nobelcenter.se.


Board of Trustees Chair, Roosevelt Giles accompanies the sole insurance policy for Martin Luther King Jr. held by Atlanta Life insurance.