NDA, Old Dominion celebrate 100 years
Over the years, the group progressed and expanded to become what is now the National Dental Association, representing more than 6,000 African-American dentists in 48 state and local chapters throughout the United States and the Caribbean.
"This is really a proud moment," said Dr. Edward H. Chappelle Jr., NDA president. "The fact that the organization has been around for 100 years speaks to its longevity and to the need for it. Our members have benefited quite a bit. We continue to represent them and continue to gain strength."
A practicing dentist for 35 years, Dr. Chappelle noted that the NDA's mission statement calls for the organization to advocate for and mentor students of color. "At this point," he said, "there are not enough students of color going into the health care professions. Dentistry is our niche, it is a wonderful profession, and we want to encourage young people to pursue it."
Joining the NDA in celebrating 100 years of service to dentistry is the Old Dominion Dental Society, an NDA constituent based in Virginia.
Under its president, Dr. Randy Adams of Richmond, the ODDS marked its centennial at an April gala that featured a distinguished speaker: Dr. Raymond F. Gist, past president of the American Dental Association (2010-11), the first African-American to hold that office.
Dr. Gist urged ODDS members to help young people "find the pathway to success." He added, "Take an interest in their dreams. Write those letters of recommendation and provide the motivation and inspiration that our potential graduates need."