Mitchell Kilpatrick, senior communications specialist Alabama Power, supports internal clients such as Safety and Power Delivery and manages Current, Alabama Power’s internal communications app. He worked with Southern Power for two and a half years before joining Alabama Power in 2018.
Outside of work, Kilpatrick is a movie afficionado, to say the least. In his free time, he runs a personal blog, called, “Movies with Mitchell,” in which he has reviewed hundreds of films of every genre.
“For me, movies have always done three things: provide thrilling entertainment, offer an escape from reality, and give us the chance to empathize with lives and emotions that we may never know personally. Movies can bring comfort but also challenge us to understand the world in new ways. I unironically love the Nicole Kidman AMC Theaters ad that plays before movies at the theater. For all the cheesiness, there’s still a seed of truth – movies really do sometimes feel like magic,” Mitchell said.
Kilpatrick recalls enjoying films from early childhood. He grew up watching movies from The Harry Potter series, from the Marvel universe and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, in 2016, Kilpatrick found a greater appreciation for film as he began to watch Oscar nominated movies. Mitchell said his coworkers urged him to start a blog given his strong written skills and film opinions.
Kilpatrick began his blog in 2019 but further developed the blog in 2020 to bring movies back to life after theaters shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. The blog’s mantra is “celebrating the magic of movies.” He hopes his blog will encourage people to find magic in film and support local theaters, as opposed to only watching movies on at-home streaming platforms.
"Theaters really struggled in the pandemic. There’s something special about seeing a movie in a theater that I will always support and encourage,."
Kilpatrick suggests that those interested in learning more about film check out directors Steven Spielberg, Wes Anderson and Studio Ghibli Movies by Hayao Miyazaki.
“All of those are just masterpieces, but I still feel like I’m a beginner in some ways,” Mitchell said.
He emphasizes that the world of film is broad, and there is always more to watch and learn.
Check out Mitchell’s blog here: https://movieswithmitchell.com/ to learn more and see his latest review of Top Gun: Maverick or his Top 10 movies of 2021
Khadijah Diggs is a senior project manager for the Southern Company Technology Organization Project Management Office. When she’s not in the office, she’s tackling a different kind of multi-segment project competing in triathlons.
Khadijah is a Team USA long course triathlete who competes in numerous national and international triathlons. A triathlon is an endurance, multisport race consisting of swimming, cycling and running in the fastest time possible with long course triathlons consisting of swim segments ranging from 1.2 miles to 2.4 miles, cycling segments from 56 miles to 112 miles and runs ranging from 13.1 to 26.2 miles, a full marathon. The races last between five to 12 hours.
She competed in her first triathlon in 2012 as part of her sorority’s health initiative and came in third to last place. Khadijah enjoyed the experience and continued training and competing in races. In 2016, Khadijah became the first Black woman to become a member of the USA Triathlon (USAT) Long Course Triathlon team, the first hijabi (a woman who wears a hijab) to represent Team USA in any multi-sport event and became a USAT certified coach in 2020.
"As I continued to compete in races, I realized I enjoyed training even more. It's my 'me' time and has helped me deal with the loss of loved ones, stress and the recent events surrounding the pandemic. Pushing my body beyond its preconceived limits has changed my entire perspective on life."
In a sport where Black athletes make up less than 1% and as a Muslim woman who competes wearing a hijab, Khadijah has encountered racial and religious discrimination but is able to endure it by relying on her strong support system and committed sponsors. She views hurdles as opportunities to show people the similarities she shares with other triathletes by giving her all like every other competitor.
These experiences led Khadijah to create a non-profit organization, Diversity Infusion Syndicate with Khadijah (D.I.S.K.), to support and mentor triathletes from underrepresented communities and provide them with the opportunity to meet corporate sponsors and have personalized training schedules and one-on-one coaching with her.
"I intend to help athletes with limited exposure and provide opportunities for them to excel," said Khadijah.
Her triathlon goals continue to advance with each race she finishes. She will compete in the Ironman Maryland and Ironman Florida races this year and qualified for the 2022 U.S. Aquathlon Team. Khadijah also wants to see D.I.S.K. continue to expand and encourage more women to enter triathlons.
"I want to continue to race and set new goals that seem ridiculous," she said. "When I said I wanted to make the U.S. Team, I remember a person I trained with laughed. I have my eyes set on a U.S. and World age group podium finish and plan to race until my body says no."
When she is not competing in triathlons, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, trail running and going on weekend road trips with her youngest daughter.
Visit Khadijah’s website to learn more about her triathlon competitions and D.I.S.K.
Rachel Petry’s volunteer efforts seek to eliminate hunger and food waste in Birmingham.
Rachel Petry is a renewable asset manager for Southern Power and has been with the company for 18 years. She works from Birmingham and in her free time volunteers at FeedBHM, a food rescue program that collects surplus food from grocery stores, bakeries and restaurants and distributes it to those experiencing food insecurity in the community.
FeedBHM is part of the Grace Klein Community, a non-profit organization that has been operating in Birmingham since 2010. Grace Klein Community distributes food from its six drive-thru locations across the city and to over 80 non-profit partners. This year FeedBHM rescued over 1 million pounds of food.
Rachel began volunteering at FeedBHM through her church three years ago and discovered how different circumstances can cause food insecurity and how food distribution can benefit the community and the environment.
It is amazing how many people live paycheck to paycheck. A major life event such as medical bills or vehicle expenses can force people to choose between buying food and paying their rent. There is so much food wasted. If we can get it onto plates and out of landfills, it benefits everyone.
During the pandemic, food insecurity increased the demand for food distribution in the community. In March, Rachel and her husband helped launch the FeedBHM Food Rescue app to enable volunteers to select food rescue locations, days and times that worked best for their schedules. The app allowed FeedBHM to quadruple the amount of food rescued compared to previous years.
In May, Rachel started the FeedBHM Junior Board to support its rescue initiative at The World Games in 2022. FeedBHM was listed as a sustainability partner for The World Game and will partner with vendors and food providers to minimize food waste.
"The amount of food that’s wasted in the United States is almost equal to the amount of food needed to feed the hungry," Rachel said. "By preventing unnecessary waste and distributing unused food, food insecurity can be a much easier problem to solve."
Rachel lives with her husband and two children along with their ducks, chickens and honeybees.
Visit FeedBHM for more information on how you can volunteer or support the organization’s mission to eradicate hunger.
Ruby Jackson knew from first grade she wanted to be a lawyer. Influenced by her father being a judge, she wanted to similarly help people.
"I am a problem solver and always enjoyed serving as a sounding board to my friends and family," she said. "The legal profession requires you to listen to an individual or organization and help find a solution to the problem."
Ruby has been part of Southern Power’s legal organization for five years. During her free time, she volunteers with multiple bar associations within Birmingham to give back to her community.
Ruby began helping with the Magic City Bar Association (MCBA) as a law student at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. The MCBA was created to promote the professional advancement of African American attorneys in Birmingham and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. She was the 2019 president of the MCBA and sits on its board of directors, where she focuses on strategic initiatives.
Last November, Alabama Power announced a partnership with MCBA to provide opportunities for MCBA members, including job shadowing and internships for aspiring lawyers, and exposure to opportunities between the company and the association.
Her involvement with MCBA connected her with the Birmingham Bar Association (BBA). Through BBA, she became involved with Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham (VLB), a non-profit organization of attorney volunteers that provides immediate access to free legal services for low-income individuals and families in Birmingham. She has since joined VLB’s board of directors.
Ruby particularly remembers one of the pro bono cases that she worked on through VLB.
A client called me at five in the morning due to her landlord attempting to evict her and her children during the pandemic. We were able to extend her time in the home, which allowed her to find alternative housing.
Last year, VLB served more than 3,500 low-income clients, more than any other pro bono organization in Alabama. Over 650 attorneys volunteered, donating 4,500 hours of their time equating to $1 million of donated time and legal services.
As a member of the Alabama State Bar Association (ASB), she was appointed to serve on its Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to increase educational and professional opportunities for women and minorities and advance the principles of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and its members.
Ruby’s commitment to seeing change within herself, her profession and community is what drives her involvement in these organizations.
"Service is the core of the organizations I participate in," she said. "I am able to grow both personally and professionally and help foster relationships and mentoring opportunities for the next generation of lawyers."