February 23, 2005

IRWINDALE, Calif., Feb. 23, 2005—In celebration of Black History Month, Southern California Edison (SCE) will host its third “Connecting the Evolution of Electricity to Black History” event from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at its Customer Technology Applications Center (CTAC).

Black-owned businesses and community- and faith-based organizations from the Southland will join SCE employees and managers at 6090 N. Irwindale Ave. in recognizing the contributions that African Americans have made to modern technology, especially the electric industry.

“There are many African American inventors who’ve made significant contributions to modern technology and the electric industry, pioneers who many people aren’t aware of,” said SCE’s Afarah Board, event coordinator, “people like Lewis Latimer, Otis Boykin, Granville T. Woods, Frederick M. Jones, and Beulah L. Henry. We hope that this event will increase the general awareness of their contributions.”

Artifacts of famed inventor Thomas A. Edison, as well as Latimer, an inventor, patent expert, and draftsman, will be on display.   Biographical information also will be available on dozens of African Americans who have contributed to the development of modern technology, among them Boykin, who invented an electrical device used in all guided missiles; Woods, who patented 35 electrical and mechanical devices; Jones, who patented more than 60 inventions, including the first refrigeration for long-haul trucks; and Henry, nicknamed “The Lady Edison,” who patented 49 inventions, including a vacuum ice cream freezer.

Keynote speaker at the event will be Victoria Lowe, founder of Victoria Lowe Enterprises (formerly Alert Staffing), a $100-million company, and author of “10 Spiritual Principles of Successful Women: Discovering Your Purpose, Vision, and Blessing.”

Hundreds of customers and employees are expected at the event, along with several SCE executives.  The public is invited.  Attendees will tour CTAC, a 42,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility with seven technology centers.

Board said that SCE’s Black History event has been so successful that a second program, one geared to school-age children, has been scheduled for Friday, Feb. 25.

“It’s through events like this that Edison connects to its African American business customers and honors its African American employees,” said Board.

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.6 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.