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London's must-see hidden gems

By The Hub team, September 27, 2017

This autumn, wander off the beaten track and explore London's tucked-away treasures, including under-the-radar attractions and hip art galleries.

Hidden away a few streets behind the Tower of London, the atmospheric Wilton's Music Hall is an Instagrammer's dream with its air of faded grandeur. This traditional Victorian music hall has been fully restored to its former glory in recent years. Showing at the intimate venue November 3-14 is Peter Brook's radical reworking of Georges Bizet's opera La Tragedie de Carmen. You can also take a tour of the historic venue or enjoy a drink in its shabby-chic Mahogany Bar.

Union Chapel in Islington is one of London's architectural marvels that's home to an award-winning live entertainment venue, a church and a unique organ. On October 14, the venue will host the three-day festival, Organ Reframed, featuring solo sets and improvisations based on its 1877 organ.

Another under-the-radar delight is Sir John Soane's Museum near Holborn's Covent Garden, crammed full of more than 20,000 architectural drawings and antiquities collected by Soane, the architect for the Bank of England. This autumn, visitors can see new sculptures by a leading contemporary artist with Marc Quinn: Drawn from Life, a major exhibition in the spirit of Soane through September 23.

Many festivals taking place in London this autumn will give you the chance to get under the skin of the capital's famous and lesser-known venues. At Open House London — for one weekend only — you can snoop around some of the city's quirkiest and grandest buildings, many of which are normally closed to the public.

You can also soak up some culture after dark at Museums at Night, a three-day festival encompassing late-night exhibitions, candlelit tours and sleepovers from October 25-27. Got a passion for film? Then check out the 12-day Raindance Film Festival, presenting a packed program of screenings, parties, seminars and workshops.

If you really want to experience London like a local, escape the hustle and bustle of central London and make a beeline for gems in the city's friendly neighborhoods. Head over to Southwest London to soak up the dazzling autumn colors at Kew Gardens' Shades of Nature Autumn Festival, until October 29 where you can see 16 sculptures showcasing the beauty of the season. A highlight is British artist Rebecca Louise Law's giant hanging installation of flower garlands on display at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery.

Anyone with a passion for art should go to the Whitechapel Gallery in east London. Championing contemporary art, the gallery has premiered artists such as Frida Kahlo and Jackson Pollock. The gallery's temporary Thomas Ruff photography exhibition, featuring cosmology and utopianism, is a must-see and is open until January, 21 of next year.

Other intriguing exhibitions that merit exploration this season include Poster Girls at the London Transport Museum, highlighting female artists who have designed posters for London Transport, and Ayurvedic Man: Encounters with Indian Medicine at the fascinating Wellcome Collection, which offers a glimpse into ancient practices of sustaining health in India.

Autumn in London is open. Book your London hidden gems adventure by visiting united.com or through the United app. And while you're there, share your experience on social media with the hashtag #LondonIsOpen and #AutumnSeason.

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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