It was late spring of 1969 when 25 African American optometrists gathered resolutely at the Executive Motor Hotel in Richmond, Virginia to make history. Hosted by several Richmond optometrists, the meeting was called by Dr. C. Clayton Powell of Atlanta, Georgia and Dr. John L. Howlette of Richmond, Virginia. The purpose of their gathering was to establish a nationally recognized optometric organization comprised of black doctors.
In 1969, the National Optometric Association was officially launched with charter officers being Dr. Powell as president and Dr. Howlette as vice-president. After ten years of service to the community, the NOA saw fit for a student organization which addressed the imporance of recruitment and retention of minority students, particularly African Americans. In 1979 NOSA officially became an organization. After over 40 years, NOSA's membership of over 400 members continues to grow and we continue to be interested in "addressing the visual health needs of minority populations."