MERRILLVILLE | “Collaboration and coordination are what is necessary to reclaim our next generation and our communities,” Bernice King told those gathered for Friday’s inaugural regional reception for the Indiana Chapter of American Association of Blacks in Energy at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza.
The youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King was in Northwest Indiana to participate in the Keep the Dream Alive activities Saturday.
“In 1967, my father foresaw the breakdown of collaboration,” Bernice King said to about 140 community and business leaders and energy professionals attending the reception. “We need to organize our strength into compelling power. Organizations such as this can help that effort.”
Eddie Melton, of NIPSCO and the president of the state AABE chapter, said the reception reintroduced the organization to energy professionals and community members. Similar receptions will be held throughout the state this year, Melton said.
“We invited community stakeholders to learn about AABE,” he said.
Founded in 1977, AABE sponsors energy fairs to educate people about energy conservation and efficiency and programs to educate youth about careers in the energy field.
NIPSCO CEO and AABE member Jim Stanley said AABE wants “to grow our involvement in the state and especially in NIPSCO. It is very important developing future leadership with diversity.”
Regina Biddings-Muro, interim vice chancellor at Purdue University Calumet, announced the formation of a student chapter of AABE at the Hammond-based campus for those who are majoring in energy-related fields.
Keynote speaker George Williams, of Illinois-based PMI Energy and first vice chairman of the national AABE board, also said mentoring and being mentors are among the keys to succeeding in the corporate world.