Miles College president Bobbie Knight, an outspoken critic of the U.S. Supreme Court's (SCOTUS) recent ruling against affirmative action admissions programs in public universities, will now sit on the board of directors for the oldest and largest utility in the state.
Knight was elected to the board of directors of the Alabama Power Company on Friday, according to reports.
She has been leading Miles College, a historically black college (HBCU) in Fairfield, since 2019 and serves as the vice chair for the Birmingham Airport Authority Board.
Previously, she worked for Alabama Power for 37 years, sometimes serving as vice president of the Birmingham Division, vice president of public relations and general manager of supply chain.
She also operates her own business consulting company, Bobbie Knight Consulting, LLC. She serves as chair of the board of managers for the Birmingham Times Media Group and co-chaired progressive Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin's transition team when he was first elected in 2017.
After SCOTUS ruled in June that affirmative action in college admissions violated the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, Knight authored a statement condemning it as "reminiscent of an era when opportunities were unequal and marginalized communities were left behind."
Affirmative action policies and programs give preference to particular minority groups, such as black people and Latin Americans, over other ethnic groups, such as white and Asian people.
"The recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action warrants a profound reflection on the cycle of history, where we seem to reverse our best ideals," Knight wrote. "As the President of Miles College, I am concerned about this ruling, as it evokes memories of a time when equal and fair access to higher education was denied."
Miles College statement on Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action. pic.twitter.com/DDKxHrq3A3— MilesCollege (@MilesCollege) June 30, 2023
Alabama Power is the primary power provider to the southern two-thirds of Alabama, servicing approximately 1.4 million customers. It is a subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the largest electric companies in the United States.
Last year, an NPR report claimed to have found financial connections between political consulting firm Matrix LLC, which represented Alabama Power, and several statewide media outlets, including Alabama Political Reporter and Yellowhammer News.
Between 2018 and 2019, Alabama Power paid Matrix $124,000 for their services, including "external relations" with controversial groups like the Alabama Education Association (AEA).
Executives at the power company have also been accused of hiring a private investigator to spy on Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning in 2017.
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