Georgia Historical Society to Dedicate New Civil Rights Trail Historical Marker Recognizing the National Medical Association

Atlanta, GA, July 29, 2022 – The Georgia Historical Society, in conjunction with the Rich Foundation, the Georgia State Medical Association, and the Atlanta Medical Association, will dedicate a historical marker discussing the National Medical Association’s role in the Civil Rights Movement on Monday, August 1, 2022, at the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Atlanta.

The National Medical Association (NMA) is the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing African-American physicians and health professionals in the United States. The NMA was founded in 1895 in the meeting room at the First Congregational Church in Atlanta to foster the education and support of physicians of African descent because the American Medical Association (AMA) barred their membership. Today, the national professional and scientific organization represents the interests of more than 50,000 African-American physicians and the patients they serve.

“The National Medical Association: Medicine in the Civil Rights Movement historical marker is the first of five new markers funded by a grant from The Rich Foundation to expand the story of the American Civil Rights Movement in the Atlanta area,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “The NMA historical marker highlights the medical profession’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and provides a unique perspective by illustrating the struggle for human and civil rights in public health from the Jim Crow era through today.”

From its inception, the NMA advocated for the racial equality of African-American physicians and patients. During the Civil Rights Movement, it campaigned for the desegregation of the AMA. The NMA supported integrationist public policies like the Social Security Acts amendments, which created Medicare and Medicaid. These acts required the enforcement of the Civil Rights Act, leading to the integration of facilities wherever federal funds were used, such as public hospitals. Today, the NMA remains an advocate for healthcare equality and is the oldest continuously existing medical society for African Americans.

To learn more about the National Medical Association historical marker, please contact Keith Strigaro, Director of Communications at the Georgia Historical Society, at 912-651-2125 ext. 153 or

To learn more about the NMA visit, or for media requests please contact Courtney Holsworth, Director at The Raben Group, at 202-223-2610 or


The Rich Foundation is a private Atlanta, Georgia, foundation whose purpose is to benefit non-profit organizations in the field of arts, civics, education, health, environment, and social welfare in the metropolitan Atlanta area. While the Foundation supports all of these areas, its primary focus has been education and social justice. Established in 1943, the Foundation was created to distribute a share of the profits of Rich’s, Inc., the Atlanta department store. Through the years, the Foundation has been a major supporter of Atlanta’s charitable and educational life.

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.
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