The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)
Diversity In Energy Spotlight
The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) was founded by Clarke A. Watson, a prominent black community activist and mentor, in the summer of 1977. Watson saw a need for change in U.S. national energy policy and a need for black people and other minorities to have a voice in energy policymaking. In response to the energy crisis of the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter established a special task force to study the energy problem and develop recommendations. There were no persons of color representing the interests of black people and other minorities on the task force.
Today, the energy industry continues to face workplace diversity challenges, with people of color underrepresented across energy industry segments. AABE serves a much needed role by representing the voice for African Americans and other minorities on energy policy, regulations, and environmental issues.
AABE’s goals are:
- To serve as a resource for policy discussion of the economic, social and political impact of environmental and energy policies on African Americans and other minorities.
- To ensure involvement of African Americans in governmental energy policymaking by recommending capable sensitive and informed personnel to appropriate officials.
- To encourage both the public and private sectors to be responsive to the problems, goals and aspirations of African Americans in energy-related fields.
- To encourage African American students to pursue careers in energy-related fields and to provide scholarships and other financial aid for such students.
AABE is led by President and CEO Paula R. Glover, an industry thought leader for issues around diversity and inclusion with more than 25 years of experience in the energy industry. Under Ms. Glover’s leadership, AABE has partnered with the US Department of Energy on its Minorities in Energy initiative as well as business development programming for minority entrepreneurs. Ms. Glover has also testified before Congress about the impact of policies on underserved communities.
This summer, AABE is hosting frequent webinars covering topics such as Climate and the COVID-19 Pandemic, Understanding ESG Applications in the Energy Industry, and Best Practices in Supplier Diversity.
AABE has 43 active chapters throughout the United States and offers membership to all people from the energy and environmental communities. The New York Metropolitan Area Chapter (NYMAC) was founded in 1987 and is one of the largest and most influential chapters in AABE. NYMAC is committed to AABE’s national purpose and also strives to represent all aspects of the energy industry in its membership, to establish partnerships with other non-profit groups in the New York metro area, and to provide education and mentorship opportunities for students and professionals.
AABE accepts donations to support the organization’s mission to educate, inform, and ensure the input of African Americans and other minorities into the discussion and developments of energy policies, regulations, R&D technologies, and environmental issues.