PJM employees share the final series of stories about their personal heroes in observance of African American History Month.
Mike Kormos, senior vice president– Operations
“Growing up in the late sixties and seventies, nobody seemed to me to be ‘larger than life’ than Muhammad Ali,” Kormos said. “Whether you agreed or disagreed on any particular issue he raised, he was able to generate a lot of public discussion on the very important issues of the era.”
Ali’s overall professional record was 56 wins, five loses, and he is recognized as one of the greatest heavy weight champion of all times. In 1967, he gained attention not for his boxing but for his stand against the Vietnam War and his refusal to serve. His case ultimately went to the Supreme Court where he won his case as a conscientious objector. He continues to be active in many causes such as the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, overseas humanitarian efforts, Special Olympics and the Make a Wish Foundation.
Evelyn Robinson, manager – Regulatory/Legislative Affairs
Robinson shared her opportunity to meet Hon. Constance Baker Motley while at the University of Montevallo.
“The day that I spent with the Hon. Constance Baker Motleywas one of the best days of my life,” Robinson said. “In my mind, the word that best describes her is ‘phenomenal.’ ”
Motley helped write the briefs for Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, which ended school segregation. She became the first African American woman elected to the New York state senate and the first African American woman appointed to a federal judgeship, and was awarded the Presidential Citizens’ Medal.
Fabian Robinson, senior application developer – Corporate Applications
Robinson shared his admiration for Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican National hero who was a visionary with such progressive beliefs and plans well beyond his time that some effects have just begun to be appreciated.
“His ability to view himself and others as larger than their current disposition has been a great influence on my life,” Robinson said.
Among many other accomplishments, in 1914, Garvey started the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Jamaica. The UNIA, which grew into an international organization, encouraged self-government for black people worldwide, self-help economic projects and protest against racial discrimination.