Union Pacific has designed UP No. 1979 to pay tribute to its nine Employee Resource Groups (ERG) supporting diversity and inclusion.
The Class I railroad’s Corporate Communications department came up with the scheme for the commemorative locomotive—named for the year UP’s first ERG, the Black Employee Network (BEN), was established—and the Jenks Locomotive Shop in North Little Rock, Ark., prepared, painted and added decals to it.
Each ERG is represented along the sides:
• Asian Employee Resource Organization (AERO)
• Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Employee Network (BRIDGES)
• Council of Native American Heritage (CONAH)
• Educate. Advance. Support. Encourage. (EASE)
• A Women’s Initiative: Lead. Educate. Achieve. Develop. (LEAD)
• Latino Employee Network (LEN)
• Connecting Employees. Uniting Communities. Emerging Professionals. (UP TIES)
• Veterans and Employees Continuing to Serve (UP VETS).
UP leadership and a BEN field chapter will officially unveil the locomotive in Houston, Tex., in honor of Juneteenth (June 19), the holiday that marks the end of slavery in the United States in 1865 and that originated in Galveston, Tex. The locomotive will then travel across numerous states this summer, passing through Fort Worth, and San Antonio, Tex.; Los Angeles and Roseville, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; North Little Rock, Ark.; Chicago, Ill.; Ogden, Utah; Denver, Colo.; North Platte, Neb.; Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.; New Orleans and Shreveport, La.; and Omaha, Neb., where it will be part of the ONE ERG Conference on Sept. 1-2.
“Juneteenth is a day of reflection to appreciate, acknowledge and honor the experience of others who came before us,” said Amy Bang, UP’s Senior Manager-Diversity and Inclusion, Workforce Resources. “Owning our past is a reminder that our work to reach equity is not done. We should use the holiday as an opportunity to come together, celebrating our shared humanity and community.”
Also, as part of UP’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, the Class I railroad is now asking every program or organization that it supports financially through its Community Ties Giving Program to demonstrate a commitment to DEI principles by 2023.
“This is what Union Pacific and America is all about, lifting up our neighbors and brightening our collective futures,” said Debbie Schrampfer, UP’s Assistant Vice President-Diversity and Inclusion. “All of us benefit when we embrace our cultural differences and our diversity of thought, life experiences and opinions.”