News Briefs: December 15th – 21st

F.C.’s Michael Curtin Named Non-Profit Leader of Year

Long-time Falls Church resident Michael Curtin was named the Washington Business Journal’s “Non-Profit Leader of the Year” at a ceremony in D.C. last week that celebrated the work of outstanding CEOs.

Curtin, whose three now adult children also grew up in Falls Church, was honored for spearheading the relocation of the D.C. Central Kitchen to a new 36,000-square foot headquarters allowing for a doubling of the job training programs and output to 25,000 meals per day for needy D.C. people. With a $27 million annual budget the program now provides 200 jobs and 25,000 volunteer helpers annually. 

Jose Andres, leader of world-famous efforts to address needs around the globe, said of Curtin, “In the kitchen, most importantly, Mike is present. He is a leader who shows up, who brings energy and empathy to the kitchen each day, and in the process, he listens to the people so that he can understand the real-time needs of his organization and our city.”

Curtin is quoted in the Business Journal, “We have always operated on the theory of what we call relentless incrementalism. We know it won’t end hunger tomorrow, we won’t fix poverty tomorrow, we won’t end the systemic racism and stereotypes that prevent folks coming out of prison from getting jobs tomorrow, but if we create one job and put one person out into the workforce and that person succeeds, and we hire more, or others follow that individual person, that’s relentless incrementalism.”

F.C. School Board Adopts New Anti-Hate Policy

    Tuesday night the Falls Church City Public Schools’ elected board voted unanimously 7-0 to adopt a statement prohibiting harassment, hate speech and hate crimes.

     The following is the text of the board’s statement:

      The Falls Church City School Board prohibits harassment against students, employees, or others on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, military status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

      Hate speech and hate crimes are rising in the United States. Mosques, synagogues, and other places of worship have been repeatedly vandalized and people across the country have been targeted due to their religion, race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. This spring in Buffalo NY, ten African Americans were killed in a grocery store, and last month, a man opened fire at a Colorado LGBTQ club, killing five people. According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents hit a record high last year with 2,717 occurrences across the country and this year there have been many high-profile antisemitic incidents nationwide including one at our very own high school. 

      As members of the Falls Church City School Board, we condemn hate speech and hate crimes. We seek to foster a welcoming and inclusive community that celebrates and embraces each individual’s authenticity and is free of antisemitism, racism and discrimination of any kind. To prevent the normalization of hate speech and maintain a free, just, and welcoming community, we must call out and reject discrimination and bigotry of all kinds. We stand united with our students, families, and staff and those in our community facing hatred for any reason. We reject hate speech and hate crimes in all their forms and affirm our support for all people. 

     The School Board has developed policies on discrimination and harassment to protect our school community from hate. We will support all students, staff, and families who experience hatred of any kind, for any reason, and will continue to work towards our mission of preparing every student to be a responsible, caring, and internationally‐minded citizen.

     Laura Downs, Chair, Tate Gould, Vice Chair, Susan Dimock, David Ortiz, Phil Reitinger, Lori Silverman, Kathleen Tysse