The 2nd Annual Game Changer Gala

Dear Friends of Herndon,

Join us for the 2nd Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundations’ Game Changers Entrepreneurship Program Gala on Friday, November 2, 2018, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Atlanta History Center.

This event is an opportunity for our network of business and community leaders, elected officials, small businesses and others involved in free enterprise across the southeast to celebrate the achievements of local entrepreneurs. We would like to invite each of our friends to partner with us in this event by becoming a $500 Patron Sponsor to our event. Becoming a Patron Sponsor affords you two tickets to the Gala, including valet service, access to our open-bar cocktail hour, and previews of valuable Silent Auction opportunities – but most importantly it is also an opportunity to support our vision of instilling an entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation of entrepreneurs.

We anticipate our scholarship fundraiser will attract over 250 of Atlanta’s progressive, dynamic, and successful entrepreneurs across a range of industries including Dean Calloway, Counsel, Ashbury Automotive Group; Herndon Family member Adam Herndon, President of The Herndon Agency LLC; and Herndon Lifetime Achievement awardee Maceo A. Brown, President of System 5 Electronics, Inc. and Founder of MACEO’s Kids Foundation. Not only will we hear from these dynamic entrepreneurial minds, but we will also enjoy dramatic readings of Alonzo Herndon’s own words on his rise from slavery to becoming the wealthy head of a leading black enterprise. As a friend to the Herndon Family Legacy, I believe contributing to our event is the most befitting opportunity for you because you not only understand the value of preserving and sharing the historical achievements of Alonzo Herndon, you also know the importance of living in the Herndon Legacy and reinvesting in future generations.


For over 70 years, The Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation has been a mainstay in the community through our promise to advance The Herndon legacy by educating, mentoring, and equipping the next generation of entrepreneurs. Now in its fourth successful year, our new signature entrepreneurship training program, The Herndon Game Changers strengthens the entrepreneurial spirit in our communities by encouraging youth to stay in school, recognize business opportunities, and plan for a successful future.

As a member of the Metro Atlanta small business community, your participation is key in ensuring this event has a powerful impact. We hope that your commitment to the Herndon Legacy and your belief in the capacity of the next generation of entrepreneurs will be a sufficient incentive for you to join us. Live the Herndon Legacy and reinvest in the next generation of entrepreneurs by visiting our event website and completing your sponsorship today.  If you have any questions or would like to learn more about attending this exciting event, please do not hesitate to contact us at our office at 404.581.9813.

I am looking forward to seeing you there and sharing the Herndon story, one worth preserving, as well as the work of the foundation that bears the Herndon name and continues the legacy of philanthropy. All donations will be accounted to the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation.


Warm regards,


Julissa White Smith

Managing Director, The Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation

Venue Rental of the Herndon Home is back

On Friday, June 29th the Herndon Home hosted a Friends of Herndon Dinner Party in commemoration of the summer season and in celebration that Herndon home Museum has returned to the community as a venue rental location.

The exclusive event took place in the main reception hall of the Home with a vinyl jazz record setting the mood for casual conversation and refreshing light-bites. Friends of the Herndon and their guests along with museum staff took the opportunity to get to know one another, the conversation ranged from volunteerism and education in a digital age to upcoming museum events, and of course, the venue rental discounts available to Museum members. 

The dinner allowed guest and staff alike an opportunity to experience the life and warmth of the home in a way unlike a tour could ever offer – a mansion, sumptuous and timeless – the true essence of the Herndon Legacy.

Rental Details

Interior Rates begin at $1,200
Exterior Rates begin at $2,500

Rental fees include the use of the facility, the supervision by tour guides, event manager, and security services. The costs for catering, equipment, maintenance, and over time will result in additional charges.

For more information and to discuss the particulars of your event, contact us at the office at 404.581.9813 or via email to our Offices at


Founders Day 2018: Happy Birthday to Alonzo Herndon

Today in History… is the 160th birthday of our namesake, Alonzo Franklin Herndon. Born into slavery on June 26, 1858 in Social Circle Georgia, Mr. Herndon’s Legacy lives on into 2018. The Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation operate out of basement offices located within the Herndon Home Museum, where we work every day to advance the Herndon Legacy through educating, mentoring and equipping the next generation of entrepreneurs. On this day, in memorial of our founder and in celebration of the awe-inspiring and admirable qualities of his life we honor Mr. Herndon’s living legacy as immortalized by the Herndon Home Museum and the Herndon Game Changer Youth Entrepreneurship program.

Born into the institution of slavery, it is hard for anyone to imagine the mindset of a young Alonzo Herndon. While we know that following emancipation in 1865 Alonzo worked as a sharecropper and, like young children even today, sold small items like peanuts, axle grease, and honey molasses roadside, we do not know the private battle that must have waged in his mind in his decision to leave his family and travel to Atlanta to create his future. Building a life as an African American man during the period of American reconstruction surely took courage and hard-work, characteristics Mr. Herndon undoubtedly modeled as a husband and father. However the entrepreneurial spirit means more than this, it also meant the display of innovation, audacity and service leadership. Recurring themes throughout his life, Mr. Herndon opened his first barber shop in 1886, creating the opportunity for him to invest in multiple business ventures centered in the needs of his African American community. His most notable venture was the purchase of the Atlanta Benevolent and Protective Association of Wheat street baptist church in 1905 which he ultimately transformed into the largest stockholder insurance corporation owned by African Americans. This business venture was among the first of its kind, an outgrowth of the benevolent societies catering to low and moderate-income African Americans, and the investment served Mr. Herndon well – the firm outlived its founder and is still in business today as Atlanta Life Insurance Company, the Flagship for Atlanta Life Financial Group located in the 191 Building on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Alonzo Herndon’s personal and professional achievements reflect his determination to succeed and value of careful, conscientious work – an entrepreneurial legacy the Herndon Foundation is dedicated to preserving and continuing.

The Herndon Home was first built in 1908-1910 and opened to the public in 1984. The Herndon Home Museum and the artifacts within serve as a significant and remarkable symbolism of the life and legacy of Alonzo Franklin Herndon, as an example of the tradition of racial solidarity and self-help that epitomized the period of reconstruction. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000, the museum collection is as exceptional and varied as the Herndon Family members that called it home, and includes a range of antiquities from Ancient Greek decorative pots dating from 600 BC and Egyptian figurines from 3000 BC to a large archival collection of photographs and paper documents. These artifacts and papers tell the stories of the private lives of an upper-class black family following the American period of reconstruction through Jim Crow and Segregation, and later the Civil Rights Movement. Today, while visitors to the museum during our regular operating hours receive 45-minute guided tours of the Home, only a select few are permitted to host events and receptions and experience the opulence of the Herndon Mansion.  Regardless of how one experiences the Herndon Home Museum our guest always leave with a valuable appreciation of how rarefied a life the Herndon’s lived during these turbulent times in African American History. However, it is the foundations of educational programming which serves to provide a tactile and applied reference for local youth.

The Herndon Game Changer Entrepreneurship Training program started in 2013 as an effort of the Herndon Foundation to champion the legacy of Alonzo Herndon by strengthening the entrepreneurial spirit in our communities. By encouraging young people to stay in school, recognize business opportunities, and plan for successful futures we believe that our students can find within themselves opportunities to build wealth and learn the skills to elevate themselves, their families, and communities. This is the function of Game Changer, a two-year program that combines training and practical exposure to the various elements of entrepreneurship with hands-on, active mentorship from vested businesses and community stakeholders. To date we have graduated over 50 students, gifting our college-bound students with valuable professional experience as well as over $40,000 in scholarships and technology. As we continue to build and expand our program we are confident the Game Changer program is a valuable community resource that supports the development of innovation ready youth prepared to own their futures.

However it is on the foundation of sacrifice, persistence, and discipline laid by former slave and our namesake, Alonzo Franklin Herndon that we continue his legacy of achievement. The Herndon Foundation is proud to continually serve Mr. Herndon and share his story of struggle endured, and courage proved in his journey from emancipated slave to business leader and a sterling example of the entrepreneurial spirit.

In celebration of Womens History Month

In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. During this time the entire nation  honors the extraordinary achievements of American women

Join us in celebrating the life and legacy of Adrienne McNeil Herndon, mother of Norris Bumstead Herndon and architect of the Herndon Home Museum. In dedication to the lasting legacy of Adrienne Herndon we have included in this months online news a poem written by Atlanta university student, A.H.W., at Atlanta University Professor Adrienne Herndon’s Death.

In Memoriam

Her form was full of beauty and of grace!

Her voice was strangely sweet and seemed to be

Full of caressing shadows, yet as free

And simple as a child’s voice.Then her face

Was pure and tranquil, there was not a trace

Of guile or meanness. Gentle sympathy,

Quick comprehension, – tho’ half timidly, –

She gave to everyone in every place.

Oh, pupils, friends, mother, husband, son,

Do not despair. Her beauty is not fled.

She lives forever and her voice has rung

A challenge to ye. Let the tears be shed

To noble purpose. Link your lives to One

Who lives. Oh, do not think of her as dead.


Follow us on social media to find little know facts and pictures of Adrienne all month long. 

2018 Black History Month Herndon Celebration series

Black History Month Herndon Celebration series

See below for details on the Herndon Home Museum 2018 Black history Series. For questions or reservations call 404.581.9813

Free Tour Days

February 6th & 8th – Celebrating Adrienne Herndon

Free tours to Atlanta University Alum and Current Students


Tuesday, February 13th 10AM to 3PM – Celebrating Sophenie Herndon


Free tours to Seniors 55+


Tue, February 27th – Celebrating African American Veterans

Free tours to Veterans 10 – 4


Free Events *donations encouraged

Tuesday, February 20th 6PM-7PM – Celebrating Norris Hendon


Youth Education Program (ages 7-12). Learn how record and preserve your family history


Thursday, February 22nd 6PM-7PM – Celebrating Norris Hendon



Youth Education Program (ages 7-12). Learn how preserve your family artifacts


Saturday, February 24th 8AM to 12PM – Celebrating the Herndon Legacy

Neighborhood clean-up around the Herndon Home Museum University Place and MLK Drive


Members Only Events

Saturday, February 10th – Friends of Herndon Movie Night

Screening of “Stir Crazy”

Free for Friends of Herndon

$5 Donation includes Food and Refreshment



Feature Events

Wednesday, February 14th 6:00 PM – Celebrating Jessie Herndon

Sweethearts Night at the Museum


Couples $25

Romantic Tour of the Herndon Home Museum with Herndon Scholar and Storyteller, Dr. Simms Alvarado. Evening includes a Tour, Desserts and Door Prizes.


Wednesday, February 21st 6:00 PM – Celebrating Alonzo Hendon

Book Signing and Reading with Herndon Descendant, Adam Herndon

$15 per child, parents attend free

Fee include entry, hand-outs and a signed book “Who says a slave can’t be a Millionaire”


Herndon Home Museum Joins Phoenix Flies for 3rd consecutive year

The 2018 Phoenix Flies:

A Celebration of Atlanta’s Historic Sites is returning for a 15th year!

The Atlanta Preservation Center

327 St. Paul Avenue SE, Atlanta GA 30312 | M A P
404-688-3353 •

Phoenix Flies 2018 – March 3rd – 5th

Atlanta’s historic built environment of buildings, landscapes, and neighborhoods is an integral part of the City’s culture and economy. The Phoenix Flies Celebration provides an opportunity to learn about, celebrate, and strengthen these assets to the benefit of all.

The Phoenix Flies is almost here!  

We have been hard at work putting together the events for the 2018 Phoenix Flies Celebration.  For this year’s Celebration, we have brought together 99 Preservation Partners from across the city. We are thrilled to announce some great new partnerships and some returning longtime favorites! Joining us this year are the Carlos Museum, the Cherrylion Studios, Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, the Clay Cemetery, Civil Bikes, the Gilded Angel Gallery, Constellations, the DeFoor Centre, and the Battle of Peachtree Creek (Hoke Kimball).  We are also pleased to welcome returning partners such as the Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Woman’s Club, the Forward Arts Foundation/Swan Coach House, the Atlanta History Center, the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Home, the Atlanta Daily World building/Gene Kansas, Sweet Auburn Works and many more!

All events are subject to change or cancellation without notice.  All events are attended at the risk of the attendee.  Some events require reservations. Please see the program or event listings for additional information.


As with all great undertakings the Phoenix Flies Celebration cannot be accomplished alone.  The Atlanta Preservation Center relies on our Preservation Partners, sponsors and the general public to make the program a success year after year.

The Atlanta Preservation Center presents Phoenix Flies




CONTACTS: Deisha Millar, Bang! Arts Media


January 9, 2018 – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta artist, Charmaine Minniefield has been commissioned by, Hands On Atlanta and Spelman College to create a mural on the newly opened Westside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine.  The mural construction is part of Spelman’s 2018 MLK Day of Service activities. This sprawling painting will include the likeness of Adrienne McNeil Herndon, celebrating women in leadership, the arts, education and entrepreneurship. The launch event will take place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day , Monday, January 15, 9 a.m. – Noon at the mural site on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail, at 1320 White Street, Atlanta, GA 30310. is a global non-profit organization with the goal of motivating young people to make positive change both online and offline through campaigns that make an impact. has over 5.6 million young members in every United States area code and in 131 countries.

The mural will expand upon’s national campaign, “Missing in History.” The campaign activated young people nationwide to fight misrepresentation and erasure by literally inserting inclusive and intersectional histories into their textbooks in the form of handmade bookmarks depicting historical facts and individuals that are not traditionally represented. Minniefield’s finalized design drew inspiration from the campaign, and will include quotes from’s members from the Atlanta area and beyond.

Minniefield, a lecturer in the Department of Art and Visual Culture at Spelman, will engage the College’s alumnae and current students in the execution of the mural as one of several MLK Day of Service projects coordinated by the Bonner Office of Civic Engagement at Spelman.  This public art project will both extend the College’s volunteerism into the surrounding community and draw a connection between the Spelman and the neighboring new Westside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine.

This is a special public art collaboration between Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., and Spelman. The wall stands at the interim hiking trail, off the paved mainline Westside Trail, across White Street from Gordon White Park.

Previous murals by Minniefield include “Watch Me Learn,” a wall designed in collaboration with civil rights icon Dr. Doris Derby on Edgewood Avenue in the King Historic District. In this case, Minniefield used public art to push back against erasure as a contemporary social justice issue by celebrating the civil rights history of this vastly changing area.

Culture Centers International serves as the fiscal sponsor for the new mural project. Its mission is to collect the history of African-American businesses, to educate the community through the arts, and to sustain the legacy of the African Diaspora through historic preservation.


About Charmaine Minniefield

Visual artist Charmaine Minniefield seeks to preserve Black narratives as a radical act of social justice. As an artist-activist, her work intentionally pushes back against erasure, displacement, misrepresentation and marginalization by reclaiming cultural histories in communities affected by gentrification. Her murals can be seen at numerous locations in Atlanta. Her recent public art projects include projection mapping and site-specific installation.  With over 20 years experience as a producer and arts administrator, Minniefield has worked with such organizations as the National Black Arts Festival, the High Museum of Art and the Fulton County Department of Art and Culture. She has produced projects with such organizations as Alternate ROOTS, Points of Light and Flux Projects and she currently serves as faculty for both Spelman College and Freedom University. To learn more about her work, visit

About is the largest tech company exclusively for young people and social change. We’re activating 5.5 million young people (and counting!) to do good in every United States area code and in 131 countries. Using our digital platform, members join DoSomething’s volunteer and civic action campaigns to make offline impact at scale. Our members have clothed half of America’s homeless youth. They’ve cleaned up 3.7 million cigarette butts. They’ve run the world’s largest youth-led sports equipment drive. And more! Young people have the power and the passion to transform their communities — we help them get it done. Let’s Do This.

About Spelman College

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer, Broadway producer Alia Jones, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard professor Evelynn Hammonds, author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit

About Adrienne McNeil Herndon and the Herndon Home

Adrienne Herndon was the first woman of color faculty hired by Atlanta University. Her educational legacy of creating the oldest drama program in the country at the university in 1895, and creating her own stage and legacy at the now Herndon Home Mansion Museum, a national landmark built in 1910, are evidence of her dreams of becoming an actress, deferred by the systems of racism, re-imagined. Herndon made Atlanta a regional center for the dramatic arts long before the Woodruff Arts Center. To learn more, visit the Alonzo F. And Norris. B Herndon Foundation website at

About the Atlanta BeltLine:
The Atlanta BeltLine is the most ambitious transportation and economic development effort ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs in the United States. It is a catalytic redevelopment project that will provide a network of public parks, multi-use trails, jobs and transit along a former 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown and connecting many neighborhoods directly to each other. The implementation of the BeltLine will be driven by equity, affordability, inclusiveness and sustainability – honoring and protecting the unique history of the neighborhoods that it connects. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI), is the entity tasked with planning and executing the implementation of the BeltLine in partnership with other public and private organizations, including City of Atlanta departments. For more information on the BeltLine, please visit

About Hands On Atlanta

Since 1989, Hands On Atlanta has been the city’s volunteer hub, connecting changemakers to nonprofits and schools in need. From cleaning parks and feeding the homeless, to tutoring students and engaging the corporate community in service, our volunteers are at work every day building a more vibrant city. We believe that everyone has the power to do something good. To learn more or to sign up to volunteer, visit



  • OPENING EVENT – Monday, January 15,20189 a.m. – Noon – MURAL SITE, 1320 White Street, Atlanta, GA 30310.
  • OPEN WORK DAYS – Tuesdays – Saturdays, January 13-31, 2018 – Noon – 4 p.m. – MURAL SITE, 1320 White Street, Atlanta, GA 30310.
  • COMMUNITY UNVEILING EVENT – Saturday, February 3, 2018 – 2 – 5 p.m. – MURAL SITE, 1320 White Street, Atlanta, GA 30310.



Georgia Civil Rights Trail Expands with Dedication of Alonzo Herndon Historical Marker – Press Release

Atlanta, Ga., October 27, 2017 – The Georgia Historical Society unveiled a new historical marker as part of the Georgia Civil Rights Trail this week recognizing Alonzo Herndon, barber, entrepreneur, and founder of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company.

Speakers for the dedication included Vince Dooley, Chairman of the Georgia Historical Society Board of Curators; Dr. Mark Becker, President, Georgia State University; Lonnie C. King, Jr., Atlanta Student Movement veteran; Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilman, District 2; Dr. Sarah Cook, Honors College, Georgia State University; and Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society.

(Representatives from the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation also attended, from left to right: Program Director, Julissa White Smith; Preservation Fellow, Natasha Lindsey; and Chief Docent for the Herndon Home Museum, Roberta Phillips)

“The epicenter of the civil rights movement was situated in Georgia,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “So it’s appropriate that the Georgia Historical society has created the Georgia Civil Rights Trail as a way to encourage the public to learn more about the vital role that our state and its people played in securing full citizenship for African Americans. It’s a legacy we all share as Georgians. For anytime that one group gains its civil liberties, we all are that much more free.”

“The recognition of this great man is long overdue,” said Lonnie King. “Alonzo Herndon succeeded against all odds and to see him honored by the Georgia Historical Society and the leadership of of Georgia State University is very fitting.”

The Georgia Civil Rights Trail focuses broadly on the economic, social, political, and cultural history of the Civil Rights Movement by guiding audiences to the sites where history happened, inviting them to stand on the ground where struggles and events took place, and providing a foundation upon which to build and cultivate a deeper understanding of the past and its relevance to the present.

The Alonzo Herndon historical marker is located in front of the Georgia State University Honors College at 100 Auburn Avenue.

The historical marker reads:

Alonzo Herndon

Alonzo Herndon was born into slavery in Walton County, Georgia, in 1858. After moving to segregated Atlanta, Herndon opened several barbershops including the upscale Crystal Palace in 1902. In 1905, he purchased a small mutual aid association that eventually became the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. Headquartered here on Auburn Avenue, it grew into one of the country’s most successful black-owned businesses. A founding member of the National Business League organized by Booker T. Washington in 1900, and of the Niagara Movement (forerunner of the NAACP) organized by W. E. B. Du Bois in 1905, Herndon became noted for his involvement in and support of local organizations devoted to advancing African-American business and community life. One of Atlanta’s most important twentieth-century entrepreneurs, Herndon died in 1927 and is buried in South-View Cemetery.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, Georgia State University, Atlanta Student Movement Veterans of the 1960s, and District Two, Atlanta City Council



The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) administers Georgia’s historical marker program. Over the past 20 years, GHS has erected over 250 new historical markers across the state on a wide variety of subjects. GHS also maintains the more than 2,100 markers installed by the State of Georgia prior to 1998. Online mapping tools allow users to design driving routes based on historical markers, and a mobile app helps visitors locate and learn about markers nearby.Visit for more ways to use Georgia’s historical markers and experience history where it happened.

Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
To learn more visit