Georgia State Honors College Receives $100,000 Grant from the Rich Foundation

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With a $100,000 grant from The Rich Foundation, the Georgia State University Honors College will create The Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Human Rights Initiative, which will use teaching and research on the Herndon legacy to enhance community understanding of historical and modern-day human rights issues.

The Georgia State University Honors College is ideally positioned to ensure that Atlanta and the world understand the importance of the Herndon family in the Civil Rights Movement,” Berman said.

With a $100,000 grant from The Rich Foundation, the Georgia State University Honors College will create The Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Human Rights Initiative, which will use teaching and research on the Herndon legacy to enhance community understanding of historical and modern-day human rights issues.

Born into slavery in 1858, Alonzo F. Herndon imagined a better life and worked tirelessly to build it. During his lifetime, he achieved business success unprecedented in his day, first as a barber and later as founder and president of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. His son, Norris, committed financial resources to the student-led Committee on the Appeal for Human Rights in Atlanta and the Civil Rights Movement in general.

More than 150 years after Alonzo Herndon’s birth and 90 years after the formation of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company the Georgia State Honors College occupies the company’s former home at 100 Auburn Ave. The college is committed to educate its students and surrounding community about Alonzo and Norris Herndon’s lives, their values and character, and their role in the Civil Rights Movement, said Larry Berman, founding dean of the Honors College.

The Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Human Rights Initiative will focus on four major branches:

  •     Herndon Human Rights course
  •     Digital mapping project
  •     Lecture series
  •     Student scholarships

“The Georgia State University Honors College is ideally positioned to ensure that Atlanta and the world understand the importance of the Herndon family in the Civil Rights Movement,” Berman said. “Thanks to the generosity of the Rich Foundation, we will help tell the Herndon story to the community, using their values and accomplishments as an example of how we can rise to meet the human rights challenges of the present and future.”

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Leah Seupersad
Georgia State University
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