NJ TRANSIT Board Member Flora Castillo was presented the 2018 Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award. The honor was awarded during a ceremony in New York City.
The award is presented each year to a nominee who takes initiative to facilitate professional opportunities for women and minorities, and promotes diversity, inclusion, and multi-cultural awareness within their organization.
“To be honored with an award bearing Rosa Parks name is a personal and professional highlight,” said Castillo. “I’ve continually tried to follow her trailblazing footsteps in everything I do. That’s why I feel it is critical to pay it forward by advocating for diversity and inclusion and ensuring that our transportation and mobility services enable all of our customers, especially those for whom transit services are their lifeline to employment, medical care, education and all the locations that support their well-being. This is a tremendous honor.”
Castillo has served as a member of the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors since 1999 and holds the distinction as being the first Latina to serve on the board. She currently chairs the board’s Customer Service Committee and is a member of the Safety and Administration Committees.
An ardent transit advocate, particularly for minority customers and customers with disabilities, Castillo has played a vital role in ensuring quality services for all
NJ TRANSIT customers, including increased seating capacity, cleaner trains and buses, new equipment, and equity in the distribution of all NJ TRANSIT equipment, services, and programs. Beyond being an advocate for customers, Castillo has been a strident and steadfast advocate for business opportunities for small, minority, woman-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises (S/M/W/DBEs). This included the creation of Diversity Officer role and enhancement on the focus of opportunities for minorities and women within and outside of NJ TRANSIT.
Due in large part to Castillo’s advocacy and guidance, NJ TRANSIT has enjoyed continuous and historically unprecedented improvement both in its relationship to communities of color, and dollars awarded to S/M/W/DBEs. Castillo’s advocacy for civil rights, equity, environmental justice, diversity, and inclusion, have kept NJ TRANSIT focused on this critical dimension of the corporation’s current responsibilities, as well as its future.