Southern Company Convenes Equity Leaders to Discuss Inclusive Innovation in the Energy Sector

Federal lawmakers, business leaders, and industry innovators discussed the importance of a diverse talent pipeline to ensure a more inclusive, cleaner energy future

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Yesterday, Southern Company partnered with Black Enterprise to present Investing in Tomorrow, Today, a virtual event bringing together U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia; Georgia Power’s Chairman, President, and CEO Chris Womack; Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama’s 7th congressional district and the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus; Dr. David A. Thomas, President of Morehouse College; and Anthony Oni, Managing Partner of Elevate Future Fund and Chair of the Propel Center, for a conversation on the business case for supporting a diverse energy workforce.

“Yesterday’s summit is a testament to the vital role that diversity and inclusion plays in every area of our society, including our energy sector,” said Senator Warnock in his opening remarks. “Black Enterprise has long been a beacon for black business and entrepreneurship and has inspired countless people into tech, financial, and energy sectors. And as a Senator for Georgia, I commend Georgia Power’s deep commitment to prioritizing diversity in the talent pool and keeping the talent pipeline strong.”

Southern Company recognizes that building a clean energy economy requires an inclusive talent pipeline, and remains committed to advancing educational equity by ensuring students have access to the resources and opportunities needed to excel in innovative industries.

“Our job in Congress is to utilize [federal] dollars in the best way possible to encourage innovation, better educational opportunities, and closing the wealth gap,” said Congresswoman Terri Sewell of Alabama. “Currently, as a top priority for the HBCU Bipartisan Caucus, we’re working on legislation that will promote better infrastructure and research development opportunities on campus, which pairs really well with Alabama Power’s efforts in promoting Black entrepreneurship and innovation.”

In 2021, Southern Company invested $50 million toward Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including $25 million towards the Atlanta-based Propel Center–a global innovation hub for HBCU students.

“At Georgia Power and all across Southern Company, diversity, equity, and inclusion are key focus areas for our company,” said Georgia Power’s Chairman, President, and CEO Chris Womack. “We’ve done a lot of work putting together a real, structured framework that makes sure that we’re doing a lot of listening and engagement with our employees and with our communities [which] puts us on a path to make sure we’re making the right kind of decisions for the long haul.”

Learn how Southern Company is ensuring a more equitable workplace in their 2021 Transformation Report: Moving to Equity.

The full event, Investing in Tomorrow, Today, can be viewed here.

About Southern Company

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices below the national average. For more than a century, we have been building the future of energy and developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, advanced carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and storage technology. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation and a low-carbon future, Southern Company and its subsidiaries develop the customized energy solutions our customers and communities require to drive growth and prosperity. Our uncompromising values ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and govern our business to the benefit of our world. Our corporate culture and hiring practices have been recognized nationally by the U.S. Department of Defense, G.I. Jobs magazine, DiversityInc, Black Enterprise, Forbes and the Women’s Choice Award. To learn more, visit


Rachael Payton