America's Best Museums - United Hub

America's best museums

By Bob Cooper

There are many reasons to visit New York City, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. But regardless of the reason that brings you to one of these great American cities, here's another one you should consider: Each one has a great museum.

Best new museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in Washington, D.C. this past September and instantly became America's largest museum devoted to African-American themes. Located on the National Mall, this newly opened museum features 10 floors — five below ground and five above ground — of African-American stories, from early slaves to Barack Obama's presidency, Black Lives Matter and African-American legends of music and sports. Afterward, you can visit other museums on the mall like the Smithsonian museums — America's finest collection of museums, all free of charge.

Best natural history museum

Brachiosaurus skeleton replica outside the Field Museum

Chicago's Field Museum is a Neoclassical-inspired beauty, but the extensive collection of artifacts and curiosities inside are even more beautiful to visitors who adore the natural world. Permanent exhibits include a dinosaur hall (starring the largest T. Rex ever found), mammal dioramas, dozens of ancient Egyptian mummies, a DNA Discovery Center, the Hall of Gems, a 3D movie theater and a fossil prep lab where you can watch paleontologists at work. The museum is located on Chicago's lakefront — Lake Michigan — which allows you to enjoy a lakefront walk before or after your visit.

Best art museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is so well established as America's finest art museum that it's commonly referred to by its nickname — The Met. America's largest art museum also has the most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts from every era of civilization and every part of the world. Egyptian flints from before 75,000 B.C. are displayed as well as paintings by Picasso and Pollock. Housed in a regal Beaux-Arts building, the museum is right across from Central Park, creating the perfect opportunity to spend half the day admiring the art of humanity and the other half admiring the beauty of America's liveliest urban park.

Best children's museum

the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco

The Exploratorium in San Francisco has pioneered hands-on learning since it opened in 1969. Generations of kids arrived by the busload to its original location inside the city's Palace of Fine Arts. Its relocation and expansion in 2013 to Pier 15 on the San Francisco waterfront has upped its game, offering even more to kids and adults as the principles of science and human perception are demonstrated and explained in a fun and tangible way. The new location also lets you stroll a few piers down to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf to dine and enjoy the bay.

Best space museum

More international visitors come to Houston, commonly referred to as “Space City," to visit Space Center Houston than any other attraction. The 250,000-square-foot museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, doubles as the visitor center for the NASA Johnson Space Center — earning it more props than any other U.S. space museum. The nearly one million people who visit each year — drawn by the city's tribute to manned space travel — get the chance to see hundreds of artifacts, including the world's largest collection of moon rocks. Visitors can also go behind the scenes at the NASA Johnson Space Center to experience a taste of astronaut training and the operations of NASA Mission Control and International Space Station Mission Control.

If you go

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your museum-themed trip.

Jessica Kimbrough named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

By The Hub team, July 10, 2020

Jessica Kimbrough, currently Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, will take on the new role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director.

Jessica assumes this new and expanded position to focus on global inclusion and equity as part of our enhanced commitment to ensure best practices across the business to strengthen our culture.

In this role, Jessica will be responsible for helping United redefine our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that our programs and approach are strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented, while we continue to build a culture that reflects our core values. She will report to Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Kate Gebo.

"Jessica's appointment to this role is another critical step our executive team is taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion remains a top priority at United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "Given her drive, experience and commitment to champion collaboration and allyship among our employee business resource groups, she is uniquely qualified to take on this position and I look forward to working closely with her."

As Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, Jessica worked closely with senior management to create and maintain positive labor relations among our unionized workforce, providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration, organizing issues and managing attorneys who represent United in labor relations. Previously, she served as Labor and Employment Counsel in our legal department.

Jessica has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders, and was honored as one of Chicago Defender's "Women of Excellence" for excellence in her career and civic engagement in 2017. She currently serves as President of uIMPACT, our women's employee business resource group.

Jessica's new role is effective immediately.

United Cargo and logistics partners keep critical medical shipments moving

By The Hub team, July 02, 2020

By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.

United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.

Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.

A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.

United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

Celebrating Juneteenth

By United Airlines, June 18, 2020

A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group

Fellow United team members –

Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.

Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.

Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.

Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."

Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.

To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.

Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.

Thank you,

UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)

Leadership Team

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