As African American Heritage Month concludes for 2017, the African American Body of Laboratory Employees (ABLE) is having a membership drive to encourage Lab employees to join in their mission by becoming a member of their association.
"Martin Luther King Jr. made such monumental change in this country during a time of turmoil. He was a source of light and a tremendous hero," said Director Bill Goldstein.
ABLE has been active for nearly three decades. The organization came to be in 1988 when numerous African American employees of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) gathered to discuss the formation of an organization that reflected the views and concerns of its members. Through this gathering, the Association of Black Laboratory Employees (ABLE) was born. In 2011, the name was changed to the African American Body of Laboratory Employees (ABLE).
The association is driven by their motto "Together We Are Able." Some goals of the organization are to:
- Provide a platform of communication for members to share their experiences and express concerns about issues pertaining to the quality of work life.
- Encourage networking and resource sharing among its members.
- Strengthen, expand and foster community education programs that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
See the membership brochure for more information.
ABLE coordinates and sponsors several activities and fundraisers during African American Heritage Month and throughout the year.
The two main fundraising events hosted by ABLE are the Valentine's Day fundraiser and the Juneteenth celebration. Proceeds from these events are applied to the ABLE scholarship fund for high school seniors and college students. Last year, five $500 scholarships were distributed to students. Scholarship applications are due in April. Recipients are announced and awarded their scholarships in June.
The current governing body is comprised of: Terry Chukwueke, chair; Lorenzo Wells, co-chair; Donald Harrison, treasurer; Pearline Williams, secretary; and Kerwin Falls, Monique Warren, William Hill, Willie Mitchell and Hanif Nassor-Covington.
ABLE would also like to thank Laboratory employees for their support and participation in the following recent activities.
- Laboratory employees were invited to attend a special Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy and Remembrance celebration on Jan. 19. See Newsline and the video highlighting members of ABLE.
- The Valentine's Day fundraiser on Feb. 14 was a resounding success with all items sold.
- On Feb. 14, it was standing room only as Dr. Bernard Harris gave an inspirational talk on how he pursued a career in medicine and eventually became the first African American to walk in space. See Newsline.
- Feb. 21, Robin Reed Poindexter, discussed her life and 30-year career with the Richmond Fire Department. She shared how she took the "scenic route" in life and learned to "never say never." Poindexter candidly discussed how she found strength to leave an abusive husband with her two children in tow to persevere, despite the odds, becoming the first African American female firefighter and deputy fire marshal for the city of Richmond.
Membership dues are $10 annually. For more information or to join, contact Terry Chukwueke at 2-2246.