Media Contact: Mashi Nyssen, (626) 302-2255

Descendant of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington Joins the Celebration

IRWINDALE, Calif., Feb. 4, 2011- Edison International (NYSE: EIX) subsidiary Southern California Edison (SCE) will host its 9th Annual Black History Month celebration today at its Customer Technology Application Center (CTAC) in Irwindale.

This year’s 10 a.m. to noon event, “Connecting the Evolution of Electricity to Black History,” will feature special guest speaker Kenneth B. Morris, the great-great-great-grandson of slave turned orator, writer and statesman Frederick Douglass, and great-great-grandson of educator and political leader Booker T. Washington.

Echoing this year’s theme, Embrace The Past, Inspire The Future, Morris will share with guests how his family history inspired him to make a difference.

Morris, president of the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, will be joined by keynote speaker James M. Rosser, president of California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Rosser, an advocate of higher education, will highlight how life experiences, maturity and social upbringing are the defining factors of a true education.

As part of the celebration, SCE will recognize African-American inventors, community leaders and businesses that have made contributions and influenced history. 

Denise Peoples of Choice Workforce Solutions and Alicia Jacobs of Ajament Partners will be honored for their long-standing partnerships, and for providing quality products and services to SCE. The Black Voice Foundation, National College Resources Foundation and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will be acknowledged for their dedication and commitment to uplifting communities across SCE’s vast service territory.

“Being able to recognize not only African-American inventors, but businesses and organizations that are making a difference in the community, is the essence of our Black History Month celebration,” said Lisa Cagnolatti, SCE’s vice president, Customer Service Business Unit’s Business Customer Division. “The company looks forward to this event each year because it allows us to connect with our customers and community partners in a very positive and celebratory way.”

The event will feature Keith E. Gipson, co-inventor of an Internet-based system that performs facility and energy management for large corporations; Joseph Jackson, who developed a device that allows parents to better regulate what their children watch on television; and Clayton Webb, inventor of an automated meter reading system. They will be spotlighted as African-Americans who have made lasting contributions to the electricity industry and technology.

News anchors Chris Schauble of KNBC4 and Michaela Pereira of KTLA5 will co-host the celebration, and Samantha Howard-Ibay and the Inner City Youth Orchestra, featuring saxophonist Damon Rentie, will provide the entertainment.

Attendees also will have an opportunity to tour the center’s “Smart Energy Experience.” The interactive exhibit is designed to introduce tools and technologies to help customers become smarter consumers of electricity.

SCE employees Afarah Board and Dave Ford, who co-founded the Black History Month Celebration, saw it as an opportunity to share ideas, inspire others and make connections with the business community. This year’s theme and speakers were chosen to add historical insight, while helping shift the focus toward future generations’ needs.

For more information on African American inventors, visit
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.


Southern California Edison Celebrates its 9th Annual Black History Month Event