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The Log Book: Phillips 66 employees mark Black History Month

Bendix and Amazon support STEM programs in Cleveland and Chicago

Phillips 66 employees hold tours at Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo: Vineyard Perspective/Shutterstock)

The Log Book is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: Phillips 66 employees mark Black History Month, and Bendix and Amazon support STEM programs in the Midwest. 

Phillips 66 employees hold Black History Month events

Throughout the month of February, multinational energy company Phillips 66’s Black Employee Network chapters are hosting events to honor and reflect on Black history. 

“Phillips 66 values the rich diversity of our employees and is proud to celebrate the contributions of Black Americans to history, science, art, politics and culture. We know and believe that diverse experiences and the accomplishments of all make us stronger,” said Natacha Buchanan, Phillips 66’s director of inclusion and diversity.

On Friday, employees met in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to parade flags representing the various home countries of Black Phillips 66 employees including Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica and the United States. At the end of the procession, the flags were displayed in the auditorium of the Phillips 66 Energy Research and Innovation Center for a presentation on the history of Black chemical engineers and chemists.

“I am so far from Jamaica, yet the atmosphere has been created where I can feel as if I’m home,” said Junior Wright, a lab technician who has worked at Phillips 66 since 2014 and is vice president of the Bartlesville chapter of the company’s Black Employee Network.

The Bartlesville Black Employee Network chapter also held tours at Greenwood Rising, the Tulsa, Oklahoma, center that honors the victims and survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that took place in an area known as Black Wall Street. Last year, Phillips 66 donated $250,000 to the center to fund its educational programming and field trips to the location for area public schools.

Earlier this month, the San Francisco Black Employee Network created an educational booklet on Black history, cuisine and culture to share with other local employees.

A virtual event will take place Monday in partnership with the Phillips 66 inclusion and diversity team and its Black Employee Network chapters. Participants will solve crosswords, puzzles and other games to learn more about Black figures and their impact on American history.

Bendix provides STEM grants to Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems announced Thursday it will be supporting the SAE Foundation, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) organization, as it looks to implement educational programs in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Using a $5,000 grant provided by Cleveland-based Bendix, SAE’s A World in Motion (AWIM) STEM program will provide five classrooms and teachers with training and supplies for up to eight weeks of scientific discovery curriculums. 

“Over the past 10 years, we have developed a relationship with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and demand for AWIM in Cleveland grows each year. This funding from Bendix will immediately go to work supporting Cleveland students and teachers and will make a measurable impact on students’ futures,” said Lori Gatmaitan, executive director of the SAE Foundation.

Operating for over 30 years, the AWIM program has reached more than 6 million students worldwide, ranging from preschool to eighth grade.

“The SAE Foundation is such a great organization, and we’re excited to help get this program into Cleveland schools. Hopefully, in the future it evolves and grows, and we can engage our employees as volunteer participants and bring it to more schools across northeast Ohio,” said Maria Gutierrez, director of corporate responsibility and sustainability for Bendix.

This is not Bendix’s first time supporting STEM programs. Last year it provided more than $30,000 in STEM-related grants to a number of programs in Ohio. The company has also supported the Ohio Invention League’s Invention Convention, the Convention’s Mentor Inventor program, the High School Coding Camp by TECH CORPS, the Northeast Ohio Regional Information Technology Engagement Board and engineering and robotics teams in area middle schools, high schools and at the University of Akron and Cleveland State University. 

“It’s all about instilling that passion for discovery and sparking that interest in STEM fields, no matter what age you are because everyone here at Bendix who’s helping shape tomorrow through our technology used to be one of those kids who felt that spark,” said Gutierrez.

Chicago schools receive $1M gift from Amazon for STEM programs

Global logistics provider Amazon announced a $1 million grant to Chicago suburban school districts 159 and 227 to continue its 2021 partnership with the school districts to build STEM curriculums and campuses.

District 159 located in Matteson, Illinois, is currently building its STEM campus, the Colin Powell Middle School, scheduled to open in the summer. The campus will include an aerospace and atmospheric science lab and robotics and flight simulation lab.

District 227 will use its funding to convert Rich Township High School at its Olympia Fields, Illinois, campus, focusing on STEM programs as well as fine arts and radio and television broadcasting.

With Amazon fulfillment centers in both districts, the logistics company hopes to offer the community jobs in STEM fields as it continues to introduce robotics and automation to the warehouses.

“Amazon believes it is critical to think long term about our role in the communities where we operate and that’s why we’re proud to make this investment in Southland schools. Growing the STEM programs in these communities will not only prepare students for the next stage of their education but also give them critical and highly valued workplace skills,” said Sarah Glavin, senior manager of community engagement for Amazon.

Watch now: Truck must-haves in low temperatures

Have a transportation-related human-interest story to share?

If so, please contact me at [email protected].

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F3: Future of Freight Festival


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.


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Grace Sharkey

Grace Sharkey is a professional in the logistics and transportation industry with experience in journalism, digital content creation and decision-making roles in the third-party logistics space. Prior to joining FreightWaves, Grace led a startup brokerage to more than $80 million in revenue, holding roles of increasing responsibility, including director of sales, vice president of business development and chief strategy officer. She is currently a staff writer, podcast producer and SiriusXM radio host for FreightWaves, a leading provider of news, data and analytics for the logistics industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Michigan State University. You can contact her at [email protected].