Argonne Hosts Second Annual Unity Mile Walk

The Unity Mile was hosted by Argonne’s Spectrum Employee Resource Group.
The Unity Mile is a hallmark of Argonne National Laboratory supporting the LGBTQIA+ community and our allies. Newswise
The Unity Mile is a hallmark of Argonne National Laboratory supporting the LGBTQIA+ community and our allies. Newswise

Walk organized by Spectrum, an employee resource group for LGBTQIA+ employees and allies.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory hosted a Unity Mile walk in celebration of Pride Month on June 5. The Unity Mile reaffirms the laboratory’s strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity and accessibility and honors the unique identities of each member of the laboratory community. 

The Unity Mile was hosted by Argonne’s Spectrum Employee Resource Group, who are dedicated to building awareness and providing resources for those in the laboratory community who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, agender (LGBTQIA+), or allies to their LGBTQIA+ peers.

“The Unity Mile is a hallmark of how Argonne National Laboratory supports the LGBTQIA+ community and our allies,” said Nathan Rogers, a user program office administrator at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source, a DOE Office of Science user facility. ​“The laboratory is saying to us, ​‘hey, we back you, we value you, and we want you working here.’” Rogers is also a co-chair of Spectrum.

When the Unity Mile was conceived last year, the goal was to create an event in which everyone’s identity, individuality, and uniqueness could be celebrated, Rogers said. ​“We wanted to make an event that everyone could come to and participate in, no matter the demographic they represent, how they identify, or whatever place they’re at in their professional journey. They can hear the message, ​‘we’re here for you and we support you.’”

Argonne talent acquisition lead Harrel Townsend explained that the Unity Mile reflected Argonne’s commitment to inclusivity. ​“It’s important for employees to see their leaders leading; what we resource with our time and our presence is ultimately an indication of what’s important to us as a community,” he said.

“This event is designed to give people a chance to come together and be seen for who they are,” Rogers added. ​“My hope is that this event gets even bigger, so that it’s not just a celebration, but a way of life at the lab.”

According to Rogers, the Unity Mile is a great example of Argonne’s promise to live by its core values. ​“We’re sticking to our core values and our culture of teamwork, respect and integrity,” he said. ​“When we celebrate everyone, we’re living every single core value.”

“This event is notable because we’re celebrating representation, which is important for the laboratory and all of its employees, particularly those who have not always been made to feel included,” Townsend said.

“Having an opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate our individuality and our commonalities can only help to make Argonne National Laboratory a happier and more inclusive place to work,” Rogers said.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology by conducting leading-edge basic and applied research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience. Newswise