Building inclusion: Breaking down barriers to promote inclusion

United strives to create an environment in our offices, airports and the world where acceptance and appreciation of everyone is the norm.

Our contributions support:

Programs designed to fight systemic racism.

Programs that amplify the voices of marginalized people including veterans, the LGBTQ+ community and those with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Programs that provide small and minority-owned businesses the resources needed to thrive and compete in the global economy.

Special Olympics

Our partnership with Special Olympics began in 2018, and we continued to grow our relationship in 2023 through plane pull competitions, localized volunteering, supporting the Capitol Hill Day in Washington D.C., sponsoring the Global Athlete Congress at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin and the Special Olympics Service Ambassador program at our Hubs. The heart of this partnership lies within the athletes supported by Special Olympics and we’re proud to foster opportunities for them to grow into their leadership potential.

As sponsors of the 2023 Capitol Hill Day, United supported Special Olympics delegates championing inclusion and critical funding. Special Olympics athletes led more than 250 face-to-face meetings with Members of Congress in both the House and Senate, inviting their elected officials to partner with them to support inclusive education and health initiatives for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Special Olympics athletes, serving as self-advocates, educated lawmakers and their staff about the stigma faced by people with ID, and how the cost-effective Special Olympics programming in sports, health and education reduces discrimination.

Similarly, The Global Athlete Congress at the Special Olympics World games was a platform for Special Olympics athletes to develop their leadership skills and implement them in the leadership roles at Special Olympics, their communities and their workplace.

Our Special Olympics Service Ambassador (SOSA) program launched during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in 2019 at ORD, and has expanded to Houston, Denver and Washington DC, with 18 SOSAs working in our airports.

SOSAs are part-time employees who are generally stationed in the airport lobby area, welcoming our customers and helping them find check-in kiosks, where to drop bags and how to find the TSA PreCheck line.

  • We funded a summer internship program with the American Association of People with Disabilities, providing college students, graduate students, law students and recent graduates with all types of disabilities, paid summer internships with Congressional offices, federal agencies, nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
  • Supported future aviation leaders through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Hispanic College Fund and Asian Pacific Islander American Scholars, with financial contributions and representation at college job fairs to promote access to the best and most diverse future talent.
  • Collaborated with The Trevor Project and Human Rights Campaign to provide inclusive training for employees, ensure our uniform standards are inclusive and support policies that protect the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Diversified air travel by providing scholarship funds and mentorship to organizations like Air Camp, Tuskegee Next, AeroStars, Red Tail Flyers and others to inspire young people to pursue careers in aviation.
  • Worked closely with the United Service Organization to create for those leaving the military and integrate their skills into aviation specific careers.