SCE Holds 20th Annual Black History Month Celebration
“Understand that our wounds are not our fault, but our healing is our responsibility. So, we are going to have to do everything that we possibly can to close this gap,” said George C. Fraser, founder and CEO of FraserNet, a global leadership network of 91,000 Black professionals, business owners and community leaders.
Fraser, the keynote speaker at Southern California Edison’s 20th annual Black History Month Celebration, spoke about the economic divide in America in line with the event’s theme, “Building Bridges to Close the Gap.”
“There’s a wealth gap certainly between Blacks and whites or cultural minorities in America. There is a relationship gap in terms of how we build relationships and the skills necessary to build effective relationships so that we can mitigate the challenges of the racial divide in this country,” Fraser said.
“The key to breaking the chain of racial hatred and prejudice is close, personal friendship. If you do not have a close personal friend that does not look like you, you’re actually part of the problem,” Fraser said. “Where do we start close personal friendships? Where do we spend most of our time together? It is in the workplace, in the teams that we work with. Put that on your calendar as something that you want to do.”
Attendees were treated to cooking demonstrations from local Black-owned businesses. The Castille family of Original 5C’s Louisiana Seafood, a restaurant turned food truck, offered their New Orleans cuisine with fried catfish and shrimp and crawfish etouffee. Rhonda Dennis and Chef D’Andre Jones of R&R Breakfast Spot shared one of their signature dishes, shrimp scampi and grits.
“This relationship between businesses in our communities is really important at Edison and for more than 130 years, we have partnered with local nonprofits. We strive to maintain 80% or more of our philanthropic giving for underserved communities and programs that help provide support and resources for our most economically vulnerable neighbors,” said Pedro J. Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, parent company of SCE and Edison Energy.
Pizarro recognized Brotherhood Crusade, a philanthropy partner since 2000, as a recipient of the Community Partnership Award for providing innovative and crucial services to the African American community, including supporting Edison International’s Lineworker Scholarship awardees with support services such as meals, transportation and childcare.
“It takes all of us to make our communities better but, more importantly, when we have the opportunity to serve those who have the least, and we do that, that’s when we get to change the world,” said Charisse Bremond Weaver, president and CEO of Brotherhood Crusade.
We strive to maintain 80% or more of our philanthropic giving for underserved communities and programs that help provide support and resources for our most economically vulnerable neighbors."Pedro J. Pizarro, Edison International President & CEO
The celebration also honored the San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) Foundation for its achievements in clean energy; Patricia V. Click (Ventress Click Ventures) and Ed Robinson (SamRay Life Clarify Coach) received the Gwen Moore Diversity award; National College Resources Foundation received an award for community partnership.
Two founders of the celebration, David Ford, SCE government relations manager, and Afarah Board, president and CEO of nonprofit Youth Essential Skills (YES), looked back on its two-decade history.
“I want to thank the leadership of Edison for all these years of supporting this event and their commitment to allowing this event to continue to have the journey that it has had for the last 20 years,” Ford said.
Click here to view the recorded event.