NMU graduate Velma Blackwell (LPN) became the first African-American to work as a nurse at Northside Hospital Cherokee in Canton, Ga, according to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That was in 1969, when other black employees—even those with RN credentials—could only work as aides and the cafeteria was segregated. Despite the difficult start, Blackwell, now 71, found her place at Northside. She met U.S. Rep. John Lewis and worked with him to secure a family leave act. She encouraged other African-American women to pursue nursing degrees. And rather than retire, Blackwell will move with her hospital “family” into a new facility May 6. To read the full article, click here.