Falls Church’s ‘Equal Welcome’ Project Grows

Falls Church’s new Equal Welcome initiative includes a sign that retail establishments can display in their windows.

The organization’s mission “is to ensure that all customers patronizing retail and hospitality establishments are treated equally and with respect.” It was founded, according to Ken Feltman and Alex Boston, “in response to an unfortunate incident two years ago when several George Mason High School students of color were forced to leave a local coffee shop and the police were called unnecessarily.”

Feltman added, “The incident was representative of national trends, in which people of color were singled out by restaurant and coffee shop owners.”

Following conversations with national chains and local establishments, Equal Welcome retained a training and consulting organization, specializing in diversity and inclusion to advise them.

Now, establishments displaying an Equal Welcome window sign communicate to their customers and visitors that they are entitled to, and can expect, an equal welcome regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, or disability.

“The Equal Welcome window sign communicates to customers and service staff an explicit commitment to treating everyone equally and with respect,” Boston noted. “Everyone wins,” Feltman added.