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Alabama Power employees support community projects on MLK Day

Alabama Power volunteers spent part of Martin Luther King Day 2024 honoring the civil rights leader by emulating his devotion to serving others.

In Birmingham, volunteers with the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO) picked up trash around the Civil Rights District and the historic Fourth Avenue District, where King once stayed and helped direct protests against segregation that ultimately toppled the city’s Jim Crow laws and led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary.

In Anniston, APSO volunteers helped prepare lunches for the homeless and then moved to Zinn Park – a community space that is part of the Freedom Riders National Monument and home to the Martin Luther King Jr. Pavilion – where they distributed the meals.

Volunteers pick up trash near Birmingham’s historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. (Michael Sznajderman / Alabama News Center)

Also taking part in the Birmingham cleanup were members of the local chapter of American Association of Blacks in Energy, which includes employees of Alabama Power, sister company Southern Nuclear and parent Southern Company, as well as others from the region working in the energy industry. Among the volunteers were Jonathan Porter, senior vice president of Customer Operations for Alabama Power, and Ho Nieh, vice president of Regulatory Affairs for Southern Nuclear.

“It is always an encouraging and great experience to volunteer alongside Southern Company, Alabama Power and American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) colleagues,” Nieh said. “Giving back to our community to make it a better place to live is a meaningful way to truly be ‘A Citizen Wherever We Serve.'”

Local members of the American Association of Blacks in Energy volunteer in Birmingham. (Marsha Morgan)

The Birmingham cleanup was hosted by Urban Impact, a nonprofit located in the Fourth Avenue District that is focused on expanding Black entrepreneurship, especially in underserved Black commercial districts and communities in the city. The Alabama Power Foundation is among the supporters of Urban Impact, which also is closely involved in the ongoing development of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.

In an email, Jordan Croft, Urban Impact district coordinator, thanked all the volunteers who came out for the cleanup, including members of the APSO Magic City and Plant Miller chapters.

“Making a difference and participating in the upkeep of the district we all inhabit is definitive of the word ‘community.’ May our community continue to grow, thrive and be a beautiful reminder that we are better together.”

Alabama Power and other local volunteers at Zinn Park in Anniston. (Stephanie Mitchell)

“I am driven by the words Dr. King once said: ‘Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve,’” said Alabama Power’s Porter following the Birmingham cleanup.

“As I look back on my own life, I can see the service and sacrifices that were made to help me get to where I am today,” Porter added. “Because of this gratitude, I am propelled to give back any way I can, whether it be through my time, talents, and treasures to serve others and my community.”

To learn more about Alabama Power employee and retiree volunteerism, visit and click on “Volunteers.”