By Kimberly Maryland and Michael Sznajderman
Alabama NewsCenter Staff
Alabama Power was recently honored by the NAACP Alabama State Conference for work supporting underserved communities.
The company was awarded the organization’s 2022 Corporate Advocacy Award for its “sustained efforts with the Alabama State Conference to advocate for those who are not able to advocate for themselves,” President Benard Simelton said in a letter announcing the award. In addition to serving as Alabama State Conference president, Simelton is a member of the NAACP national board of directors.
The award was presented to the company on Oct. 8 during the conference’s 70th Annual State Convention Awards Banquet, held at the Westin Hotel in Birmingham.
“On behalf of the entire Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, I extend congratulations to Alabama Power for all you do for the community you serve,” Simelton said. “The Alabama NAACP is proud to recognize Alabama Power as our Corporate Advocacy Partner of The Year for three consecutive years. Alabama Power continues to advocate for equality in its employment and hiring practices. This sets a strong example for other large corporations to follow, and we are proud of this partnership. Their efforts enabled several of our youth to attend our national convention and receive training that will help them improve their local units.”
Darlena Battle, Corporate Relations specialist with Alabama Power, added: “I’m proud to work for a company that recognizes the important work NAACP does to build a better and more equitable Alabama.” Battle, who is second vice president of the Metro Birmingham NAACP Branch, accepted the award on behalf of the company.
“Alabama Power and NAACP have common goals as we work diligently for our customers and they, their constituents,” Battle said. “I am honored to represent a company that leads by example and cares for their customers and the organizations that serve the community.”
Battle also was honored for her work with the organization for 2022. Simelton praised Battle for her dedication to the NAACP through the years, and for her assistance and engagement with NAACP leadership during the pandemic to provide accurate information to the community from a trusted source regarding utility payments.
Battle said she appreciates the opportunity to work with the NAACP on the local, state and national levels to help advance the organization’s goals. She credited her mother, Faye Anchrum, for paving the way and setting an example of serving the community.
According to the organization’s website, the NAACP state conference’s mission is “to advance equity, political rights and social inclusion by advocating for policies that promote the expansion of human and civil rights, the elimination of discrimination, and the well-being of all persons of color.” Learn more about the NAACP state conference here.
Last year, Alabama Power was awarded the 2021 Corporate Partner of the Year at the 69th Annual Alabama NAACP State Conference Convention. Simelton said the award recognized the company’s “interest in and dedicated commitment to diversity” and the compassion it displayed to its customers during the pandemic.