“The Future is Now! African Americans in Dentistry The National Museum of Dentistry Latest Exhibition” The Future is Now! African Americans in Dentistry, a new exhibition at the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry will open on Friday, September 27, 2002. Visitors will discover the rich heritage of African Americans in dentistry in this inspiring exhibition highlighting dedicated professionals, fascinating individuals and landmark events. The dramatic presentation reveals a largely untold story of daunting struggles and remarkable achievements beginning in the 1740?s and continuing through the present day.
“Bright Smiles, Bright Futures” In 1991 the National Dental Association Foundation joined forces with Colgate Palmolive in its “Bright Smiles, Bright Futures” program. The goal of this community outreach program is to improve the oral health of school age inner city children, and thus improve their overall self esteem. NDA dentists from local component chapters provide free dental screenings to children in homeless shelters, inner city schools, churches, day care centers, Boys and Girls Clubs and other community sites. Colgate Palmolive has supplied four specially equipped mobile vans to assist the dentists in their screenings. Successful pilot programs in Philadelphia and Oakland justified additional funding to allow for the expansion of this innovative program. By the end of 1999, the van had visited 20 cities and a NDA volunteer network of 400 dentists had screened over 4.5 million children.
“Black Expo” NDA members provide free dental screenings at the Children’s Dental Health Screening Booth during the annual Black Expo. This Expo brings African American families and individuals together to experience seminars, entertainment and business opportunities. The booth is staffed by NDA volunteers from local chapters as the Expo travels the country.
“Overseas Volunteer Programs” For many years NDA volunteers have held expeditions to Third World countries in the dire need of health care. Teams of dentists, students, hygienists and assistants have stayed for weeks at a time. Countries such as Israel, Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana have benefited from manpower and supplies provided by the NDA.
“Ongoing Projects” Scholarship fundraising for the recruitment and retention of African-American dental students, participation in the national Head Start program, and advancing the rights of minority dental health professionals within the armed services, the government, the private sector, research, academia, administration and public health.
“NDA, IADR AND ZIMBABWE DENTAL GROUP COLLABORATE” On August 28,2000, 22 members of the NDA family traveled to Southern Africa for the Joint meeting of the Dental Association of Zimbabwe (DAZ), National Dental Association, (NDA) and the International Association of Dental Research, (IADR). The meeting held August 30-September 2,2000 at the Sheraton Conference Center in Harare, Zimbabwe was an enormous success!
The conference was sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive. Dr. Wilson D. Sithole, President of the local IADR group, was the meeting host. NDA members presented the following papers: ?Faith and Healing”, by Dr. Rueben Warren, “HIV-AIDS: Changing the Role of the Oral Health Provider”, by Dr. Cynthia Hodge, and “The Relationship Between Basic Sciences and Clinical Practice in the Dental Curriculum”, by Dr. Elizabeth Daniels. Capetown and Robben Island (Nelson Mandela?s prison site).
Kudos to our past president, Dr. Cynthia Hodge, Dr. Rueben Warren, Chair of the NDA’s National and International Relations Committee and committee member Dr. Brian Swann, for their collective efforts in making this historic trip an overwhelming success. A larger delegation is expected to travel to the next Southern Africa IADR meeting, which will be in Malawi in 2001. The entire group was truly made to feel welcome by our brothers and sisters across the waters.