Family Friendly Cities: Visit D.C. for Monuments & Museums - United Hub
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Family friendly cities: Visit D.C. for monuments & museums

By Bob Cooper, August 17, 2017

More than the seat of government, Washington, D.C., is a place of history and culture that can be riveting for adults and kids alike. A visit to the nation's capital will remind you--and show your kids--how democracy got started and why it's important. It won't cost you much, either, because almost all of D.C.'s sights are free.

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Massive Monuments

America's heftiest symbols of democracy are the monuments that flank the National Mall and Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C. But you can do more than Instagram them. Although the elevator to the top of the Washington Monument is closed for renovations until 2019, there are frequent talks and walks led by National Park Service rangers at the monuments, which also include the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II, Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials.

Smithsonian Arts & Industries Castle in D.C.

Magnificent Museums

Once visitors leave the Reflecting Pool monuments, they can reflect on the nation's history inside the National Mall's eight Smithsonian museums, the world's largest museum collection. All are open daily except on Christmas, and like the monuments, all are free. Anyone with a sense of curiosity could spend hours in each of them. They include the Air & Space Museum, Museum of Natural History, Museum of American History, American Indian Museum and African American Museum. Another family favorite—three blocks from the Mall, although it's not a free Smithsonian museum—is the International Spy Museum ($15-$22), which traces the history of espionage from Revolutionary War spies to modern-day moles, with exhibits sure to fascinate older kids and adults.

A Sumatran tiger

The National Zoo

Some would say the real weasels and sloths are across town, but never mind that—the Smithsonian National Zoo is one of America's finest zoos. And it's free. The 300 species include the beloved giant pandas (Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and male cub Bei Bei), the American Bison (the zoo's first species when it opened in 1887), African lions, Sumatran tigers, a Great Ape House and Amazonia—a re-creation of the Amazon River biome with titi monkeys in the trees and turtles in the water. Scheduled often are elephant-training demonstrations, meet-a-reptile sessions, lemur feedings and more.

Red Creek Park in Washington D.C.

Rock Creek Park

The National Zoo is only one of the attractions in Rock Creek Park, a national park for 43 years that's still administered by the National Park Service. A nine-mile-long bike path and 32 miles of hiking trails follow the wooded creek through the park between the Potomac River and the Maryland border. Park visitors can rent a bike ($11/hour) or a kayak, rowboat, pedal boat or standup paddleboard ($16-$22/hour) for use in the park, or do a trail ride at the park's equestrian center. The park also features historic fort ruins, a nature center, a planetarium and a public golf course.

The White House at sunset.

The White House

A White House tour takes some planning, but it can be the highlight of a D.C. visit. The self-guided East Wing tour lets visitors see the State Dining Room, White House movie theater and nine other rooms. Requests for the free, first-come/first-served tickets must be made to your member of Congress at least three weeks ahead. If no tickets are left, you can still check out the White House Visitor Center, which is free, open daily, and showcases White House artifacts and films.

If you go

United Airlines offers hundreds of flights to Washington Dulles International Airport from dozens of cities, and MileagePlus Rewards can help pay for your car rental and a family-friendly hotel room once you arrive. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your getaway.

Celebrating immigration perspectives and diverse journeys

By The Hub team, September 25, 2020

From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the U.S. celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, a chance to pay tribute to the history, culture and contributions that generations of Latinxs have paved to enrich U.S. history. It is also a reminder to celebrate our differences and spark difficult, yet important, conversations.

To kick off the month, UNITE, our multicultural business resource group for employees, did just that by hosting a panel discussion about the immigrant experience and what it means to be an immigrant in the U.S.

United Litigation and Managing Counsel Elizabeth Lopez, who is a pro bono immigration attorney, moderated the panel, and was joined by Ashley Huebner, Associate Director of Legal Services at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and Magdalena Gonzalez, Program Manager, Leadership Development Programs at Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement. The three women shared their insights and personal stories, while addressing some misconceptions and highlighting the contributions of immigrants to our company and country.

Participants' headshots from United's Hispanic Heritage Month Panel From left to right, Elizabeth Lopez, Ashely Huebner and Magdalena Gonzalez

"I started to notice that there were things I was scared of doing, that I needed to be cautious," said Magdalena while sharing her personal experience as a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient. "My friends, who a majority of them are citizens, did not need to worry about that. As I was able to see that, I realized that, 'oh, there's so many things that revolve around not just being a DACA recipient but revolve around being a person with an undocumented status here in the United States.'"

United maintains a close relationship with the NIJC. In May of 2019, United co-hosted an asylum clinic put on by the legal services organization, where several attorneys and legal professionals were trained on representing asylum-seeking applicants. At the end of the clinic, members of our legal department were assigned an asylum case through the NIJC.

Litigation Managing Counsel Elizabeth Lopez, Commercial Transactions Counsel Tiffany Jaspers, Global Compliance and Ethics Counsel Nancy Jacobson and Employment Litigation Senior Manager Dorothy Karpierz were partnered with attorneys from the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery to take on an immigration case of a mother of three from Honduras. Recently, after a years-long court battle, the legal team was victorious, changing the life of the woman and her family.

United is committed to connecting people and uniting the world. Whether you're an immigrant, a child of immigrants or simply want to learn more about the immigrant experience in the U.S., discussions like these, related to this hot-button issue, are important to have in order to understand the human lives behind it.

Make your voice heard

By Brett J. Hart, September 22, 2020

Your voice matters. Voting is one of the most influential civic activities we can engage in as Americans. At United, our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. That's why we've long provided our employees with resources to help them get registered to vote.

This year, we're taking our support a step further as the official airline of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Since the start of the pandemic, we've overhauled our cleaning measures through a program we call United CleanPlusSM , and the CPD has placed their trust in United to fly Commission production staff to each of the four debates, starting with the first one on September 29, hosted by Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.

Today, on National Voter Registration Day, we also want to make sure our customers have access to information about how to participate in the 2020 Election. Over the past several months, you've heard a lot from us about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed air travel. We've learned that with some planning and extra effort, it's still possible — and safe. That's true of voting, too.

No matter which party you support or how you're planning to vote, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and make a plan to vote.

Best,

Brett J. Hart
President
United Airlines

United named to Year Up Opportunity Hall of Fame

By The Hub team, September 17, 2020

Since its launch 20 years ago, Year Up, one of our critical needs grant recipients, has helped more than 10,000 young adults gain access to corporate business and technical experience at large companies like United while offering the invaluable perspectives they bring with them.

On Wednesday, the nonprofit inducted United into its Opportunity Hall of Fame – a selection that occurs once every five years.

Year Up's mission is to help close the opportunity divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Since 2018, our partnership has allowed talented student learners the opportunity to gain corporate business experience and technical skill training at the airline while bringing their unique perspectives to our United family and culture. One of those students is Emily Lopez, who graduated from the Year Up program in January 2019 and was hired to be part of the United family as an analyst in Revenue Management.

"I moved from Venezuela to the United States in July 2016 and being a young immigrant with no resources can be difficult to pursue a career in a new country," said Emily.

After learning about Year Up and ultimately being accepted into the program, Emily landed an internship with United, an opportunity she is very grateful for.

Emily Lopez - Analyst, Pricing & Revenue Management

"Feedback from my mentors, coaches and managers was key during my internship phase and helped me convert my internship at United to a full-time position. I am grateful for the opportunity United has provided me and my Year Up Alumni colleagues to keep building a professional career within the company. I am so excited to continue building a professional career with the company and to see United being inducted to Year Up's Hall of Fame. Let's continue closing the opportunity divide!" said Emily.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has made this year's partnership a bit more difficult, we continue to do our part to support the Year Up student learners. Last month, we surprised 145 graduates of this year's Year Up Chicago program with roundtrip tickets to pursue career and networking opportunities within the United States.

"I've been personally honored and inspired to be an advocate for Year Up since I joined United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "This program gives young people from challenged backgrounds an opportunity to get their foot in the door as interns at United. This year's graduates are entering a challenging job landscape, but we have one thing that can help: a route network that provides easy access to major business markets across the United States."

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