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AG Herring outlines priorities for criminal justice and policing reform ahead of special session

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RICHMOND (August 11, 2020)—Ahead of the upcoming special session of the General Assembly, Attorney General Mark R. Herring today outlined his priorities for criminal justice and policing reforms that will reduce brutality and abuses of power by law enforcement, increase transparency, accountability, justice, and equality, and address disparities throughout the criminal justice system from policing to re-entry.

“Virginia cannot have different systems and standards of justice depending on the color of a person’s skin,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Ours must be a Commonwealth where justice, equality, and opportunity are guaranteed for each and every person, no matter where they live, what they look like, how they worship, who they love, or how much money they have.

“We know that African-Americans and Virginians of color experience the criminal justice system differently at every level from policing through prosecution and into re-entry. It is documented and undeniable. That’s a hard thing to admit, but it’s even harder to experience. It means that we are failing in one of our most foundational responsibilities as a country and a Commonwealth: to ensure that all men and women are truly treated equal.

“This moment has given us an opportunity like none I can recall in my lifetime to truly focus on how we create a criminal justice system that meets our public safety goals in a way that ensures justice and equality for all. Those of us who have been frustrated by the pace of change in previous years now have the benefit of open minds and a broader recognition of the change that is needed in this country to ensure that black lives matter and that the criminal justice system is oriented around justice and safety, not simply control or oppression.”


In the upcoming special session, Attorney General Herring will be supporting the following measures:

Police Reform:
• Enable the Attorney General of Virginia to conduct “pattern and practice” investigations
• Modernize, standardize, and elevate the rigor of police training
• Department of Criminal Justice Services should be required to develop within the year a new basic training curriculum in conjunction with the Office of Attorney General
• Current law enforcement officers must-have 21st-century policing skills included in their annual in-service training curriculum
• Make it easier to remove bad officers from the law enforcement profession
• Expand police decertification criteria to include misconduct, not just criminal convictions.
• Establish a more robust database of officer discipline, terminations, and decertification.
• Ban rehiring of officers who are fired for misconduct or excessive force, or who resign during an investigation into misconduct or excessive force.
• Create a “duty to intervene” for law enforcement officers.
• Ban or limit dangerous, unnecessary, and potentially deadly police tactics
• Empower localities to establish citizen review panels
• Require the use of body-worn cameras by all law enforcement officers
• Require law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to engage an independent agency or Commonwealth’s Attorney to conduct investigations and make prosecutorial decisions

Criminal Justice Reform:
• Cash bail reform
• Expanding opportunities for record expungement and simplifying the process
• Continued momentum toward legal, regulated adult use of cannabis and resolve past convictions

“For many months now, I have been waiting for a response from the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice to my request for an independent investigation into one of my local police departments. But for the return receipt requested signature card, I didn’t even receive an acknowledgement to my letter. If the federal government isn’t going to provide this oversight when police departments may be violating citizen’s rights, then there needs to be a state backstop that can conduct these necessary investigations. It is for these reasons, I will introduce a bill in the Special Session of the General Assembly to enable the Attorney General of Virginia to conduct “patterns and practices investigations of local police departments,” said Senator Louise Lucas.

“Since 2017 the Trump Administration’s DOJ has refused to address systemic failures and investigate possible unconstitutional practices in law enforcement agencies. With that in mind, the Attorney General needs to have the authority to investigate and resolve patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing, such as use of excessive force, illegal searches, or biased policing,” stated Delegate Alfonso Lopez. “This legislation finally gives the Attorney General the authority to investigate, subpoena, and bring appropriate actions in court to ensure compliance with constitutional policing standards.”

In the area of police reform, Attorney General Herring will be actively working to ensure passage of the following bills and policies:

Enable the Attorney General of Virginia to conduct “pattern and practice” investigations of law enforcement agencies to identify and put a stop to unconstitutional practices, such as patterns of excessive force, illegal searches, biased policing, or other unconstitutional practices. For decades the U.S. Department of Justice was a reliable partner in identifying and ending unconstitutional policing practices, often through negotiated agreements for reforms, called “consent decrees,” in cities such as Chicago, Baltimore, and Ferguson, MO. Under the Trump Administration the DOJ has explicitly walked away from this responsibility, making it more important for state attorneys general to have this important tool. In June, Attorney General Herring asked Congress to expand federal law to give him and other state attorneys general clear statutory authority to conduct patterns and practice investigations. The U.S House of Representatives included this authority in the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act” which passed the House on June 25, 2020.

Modernize, standardize, and elevate the rigor of police training to include mandatory training on implicit bias, racial bias, crisis intervention, de-escalation, hate crimes, violence interruption, and other 21st-century policing skills. Because of the immense power placed in the hands of law enforcement officers, the Commonwealth must treat the law enforcement profession as a highly-skilled and specialized field that requires both proper training and high standards.

In order to ensure proper, 21st-century training for Virginia law enforcement officers:
• The Department of Criminal Justice Services should be required to develop within the year a new basic training curriculum in conjunction with the Office of Attorney General that includes implicit bias, racial bias, crisis intervention, de-escalation, hate crimes, violence interruption, and other 21st-century policing skills.
• Current law enforcement officers must-have 21st-century policing skills included in their annual in-service training curriculum. In 2015, Attorney General Herring sponsored a series of five regional “train-the-trainer” conferences to promote the wider adoption of implicit bias training, de-escalation, and other 21st-century policing skills. The training officers from more than 50 law enforcement agencies participated, then went back to their departments and taught their colleagues, making this one of Virginia’s largest-ever investments in 21st century policing skills.

Make it easier to remove bad officers from the law enforcement profession. The Commonwealth should hold its law enforcement officers to the highest standards because they are empowered to make life-and-death decisions and other serious decisions that could dramatically affect the life of a Virginian. Virginia must, therefore, ensure that it removes from the profession any individuals who prove themselves unworthy or incapable of bearing such responsibility.

Virginia should:
• Expand police decertification criteria to include misconduct, not just criminal convictions. Currently, an officer may only lose their law enforcement officer certification for a criminal conviction. Misconduct that may not rise to the level of criminal conduct must be a basis for decertifying officers.
• Establish a more robust database of officer discipline, terminations, and decertification. If an individual has proven they are not capable of exercising law enforcement authority in a safe, fair, impartial, and constitutional way, they should not be able to conceal that information from a department or simply switch departments and continue their career.
• Ban rehiring of officers who are fired for misconduct or excessive force, or who resign during an investigation into misconduct or excessive force. No law enforcement officer should be able to hide behind a resignation to avoid accountability and continue their career when they have shown they may not be capable of serving in law enforcement.
• Create a legal obligation for “duty to intervene” for law enforcement officers when they see another officer using excessive force when it’s safe to intervene, and regardless of intervention they must immediately report the incident to their supervisors.
• Ban or limit dangerous, unnecessary, and potentially deadly police tactics like chokeholds, strangleholds, and no-knock warrants.
• Empower localities to establish citizen review panels with necessary investigative authority and, where possible, provide state-level support.
• Require the use of body-worn cameras by all law enforcement officers to ensure a complete and accurate account of any citizen-officer interactions.
• Require law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to engage an independent agency or Commonwealth’s Attorney to conduct investigations and make prosecutorial decisions on officer-involved incidents that may constitute criminal conduct, including use of force or killings by law enforcement officers.

Attorney General Herring will also be working for the passage of the following bills and policies to strengthen our communities and reduce racial and economic disparities through reform of Virginia’s criminal justice system:
• Cash bail reform. Attorney General Herring has long supported significant reforms to Virginia’s cash bail system which, in its current form, can lead to unjust outcomes where dangerous people with money can go free while nonviolent people sit in jail for days, weeks, or months because they can’t afford to pay bail. This can cause a person to lose their job, housing, and support systems. Attorney General Herring will be pushing for Virginia to move away from the use of cash bail as its default for low-level offenses and instead expand pretrial services that have proven to be effective and cheaper.
• Expanding opportunities for record expungement and simplifying the process. Attorney General Herring has also advocated for expanding record expungement opportunities and simplifying the process to build a more just and fair criminal justice system and to address the disproportionate burden that criminal convictions place on African Americans and people of color. Virginia is one of the nation’s least forgiving and most restrictive states for individuals who have earned the opportunity to have old convictions and charges expunged from their records. While many other states have some form of a “Clean Slate” law, the Commonwealth appears to be one of just ten states that do not offer any sort of judicial “record closure” for any adult convictions, nor does it offer any automatic expungement for those who are eligible for expungement. This means that a relatively minor charge or conviction, like marijuana or alcohol possession, can become a permanent stain that limits a Virginian’s job, educational, and housing opportunities.
• Continued momentum toward legal, regulated adult use of cannabis and resolve past convictions. During the 2020 General Assembly Session, Attorney General Herring helped successfully decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana but believes Virginia needs to continue on to full legal, regulated adult-use as quickly as possible because the social and human costs of prohibition fall disproportionately on African Americans and people of color. In 2018, there were nearly 29,000 marijuana arrests, and the Virginia Crime Commission found that from 2007 to 2016 46% of all individuals arrested for first offense marijuana possession were African American, despite being just 20% of Virginia’s population.

In addition to these policing and criminal justice reform priorities, Attorney General Herring supports measures that require officers to deescalate situations, and to better utilize specialized resources instead of police officers to respond to non-public safety situations, such as addiction, a person experiencing homelessness, or a mental health crisis.

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Governor Northam announces Virginia’s unemployment rate drops for 15 straight months, to 4.0 percent in August

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On September 17, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.0 percent in August, 3.0 percentage points below the rate from one year ago.

The labor force increased by 5,550 to 4,247,321, as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 7,678 to 168,515. The number of employed residents rose by 13,228 to 4,078,806. In August 2021, Virginia saw over-the-year job gains of 2.2 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate of 5.2 percent.

“Virginia’s economic recovery continues to outpace the nation,” said Governor Northam. “Our unemployment rate remains well below the national average and has fallen consistently every month for the past fifteen months. More people are working and businesses are continuing to flock to our Commonwealth—even with the ongoing threat of COVID-19. I’m proud of our roaring economic growth, and I look forward to seeing these trends continue.”

“This month’s declining unemployment rate is made possible through the hard work and determination of Virginia’s workers and employers, who are the true champions of economic recovery in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Labor Megan Healy. “While we have more work to do, we can all be proud of how far we’ve come.”


“The overall trend in the unemployment rate we see is very encouraging, as the number of jobs being added to payrolls across Virginia continues to increase,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The trends are clear—businesses are hiring and folks are getting back to work.”

In August, private sector employment increased by 1,500 jobs to 3,208,700, and employment in the public sector gained 9,000 jobs to 704,500. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 10,500 jobs in August. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, nine of eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 37,100 jobs or 12 percent. The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in professional and business services, up 20,600 jobs or 2.7 percent. Trade and transportation experienced the third-largest over-the-year job gain of 16,600 jobs or 2.6 percent.

For a greater statistical breakdown, visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website.

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August shipping volumes soar: Port continues to invest in new assets

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NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® in August processed more than 307,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) making it the busiest August on record and the port’s second most productive month in its history.

The combination of modern terminals and an experienced operating team are combining for success and ongoing efficiency, said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA).

In addition, the advantage of the “Virginia model” – where the VPA is both the terminal owner and operator – is keeping the port agile and providing measurable results to ocean carriers and cargo owners that are facing congestion and delays elsewhere.

“We own the terminals and our operating company runs them and this is an important advantage because we are not beholden to multiple economic interests, especially when we need to be flexible in our operations to accommodate our customers and growing cargo volumes,” Edwards said. “The Hampton Roads Chassis Pool [HRCPII] is a great example of the advantages of being an owner-operator. We own and operate HRCPII and as a result, we can make decisions and take quick action to ensure we have an ample supply of chassis.”



The VPA has four deep-water, multi-purpose cargo terminals and two inland terminals that are run by the VPA’s private operating company, Virginia International Terminals, LLC. In addition, the VPA owns and operates HRCPII.

“Though this is a very large, diverse port complex, all of the operational decisions are made under one roof by our Chief Operations Officer, Kevin Price,” Edwards said.

“Every day the parts are communicating, working in unison, analyzing need and providing real value to our customers, cargo owners and shippers. The ability to act quickly and provide service and solutions – long- or short-term — is the advantage of The Port of Virginia.”

August’s TEU volume was up 59,675 TEUs (+24%) vs. the same month last year and up 48,202 units (+18.6%) when compared with Aug. 2018, previously the best August on record.

  • To see a one-minute-45-second video of the port’s operational metrics on productivity at the berth, rail ramp and truck gates, click here.

“Our August volume would have been even stronger but there were some disruptions in the vessel schedule that are pushing some ship calls into September,” Edwards said. “We are nearing the height of peak season and do not anticipate a let-up before year’s end. Knowing that, we are focusing on remaining agile and fluid in our operations and continuing to invest in new assets that will increase our efficiency.”

In late August, the port ordered 18 Kalmar Hybrid Shuttle Carriers; the units are set for delivery next June to Norfolk International Terminals [15] and Virginia International Gateway [3]. In addition, 100 Thermo King gensets were delivered to HRCPII. These units mount directly on the chassis and 80 of the matching chassis are scheduled for delivery to HRCPII in October.

August Cargo Snapshot (2021 vs. 2020)

  • Total TEUs – 307,023 up 24.1%
  • Loaded Export TEUs – 85,256 up 13.2%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 144,226, up 19.3%
  • Total Containers – 172,094, up 26.4%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 2,794, down 3.2%
  • Total Rail Containers – 57,839 up 32.9%
  • Total Truck Containers – 106,458 up 23%
  • Total Barge Containers – 7,797 up 28.3%

(The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and, through its private operating subsidiary Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities: Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. A recent economic impact study from The College of William and Mary shows that The Port of Virginia helps to create more than 400,000 jobs, generates $92 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth on an annual basis and is a significant contributing factor in Virginia being ranked “Best State for Business” in 2019, 2020 and 2021 by CNBC.)

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Herring files amicus brief supporting the DOJ’s challenge to Texas’ unconstitutional law banning abortions after six weeks

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RICHMOND (September 15, 2021) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring today joined a coalition of 24 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) challenge to Texas’ new unconstitutional six-week ban on abortions. Attorney General Herring’s brief specifically supports DOJ’s motion for a preliminary injunction of the law, that went into effect earlier this month.

Last week, Attorney General Herring led a coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing a similar amicus brief in Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. Wilson, arguing that South Carolina’s six-week abortion ban harms women’s healthcare and a lower court’s ruling blocking the law should be upheld.

“The Texas abortion ban is not only unconstitutional, it’s just plain wrong. This law was explicitly written to try and circumvent any kind of judicial review, but my colleagues and I will not let that happen – S.B. 8 will see its day in court,” said Attorney General Herring. “A woman’s constitutional right to choose what she does with her own body is under attack across this country. As long as I am attorney general, I will do everything in my power to fight back against this alarming wave of abortion restrictions and protect a person’s constitutional right to an abortion.”

Attorney General Herring’s brief, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, argues that by banning all pre-viability abortions within Texas’ borders, the law, Senate Bill 8 (S.B. 8), violates nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent affirming the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability. The brief further contends that the Texas legislature sought to circumvent prior Supreme Court rulings and prevent judicial review of the law by delegating enforcement authority to private individuals instead of the government and, as such, S.B. 8 is an “unprecedented attack on our constitutional order” and the rule of law.


Attorney General Herring and his colleagues contend that the clear purpose of S.B. 8’s private enforcement scheme is to produce an “across-the-board ban on constitutionally protected activity,” and that the private enforcement mechanism does not shield Texas’ unconstitutional law from judicial review. The brief describes how Texas created a structure within its state court system that requires courts to provide monetary and injunctive relief to claimants who bring cases against doctors who provide abortions and those who “aid and abet” such constitutionally protected care. Attorney General Herring and his colleagues argue that the federal district court should not allow Texas to render the constitutionally protected rights recognized in Roe v. Wade legally void through the law’s transparent scheme.

Attorney General Herring’s brief describes how the law is already significantly impacting abortion provider clinics in Texas and beyond, including in amici states. Clinics in nearby states are already reporting a rise in calls from Texas patients seeking abortions, and one day after the law went into effect, all abortion clinics in New Mexico were reportedly booked for weeks. This rise in abortion caseloads in other states from Texas patients and the increase in needed travel for patients could result in many people – especially low-income individuals – being unable to receive the care they need. The law also threatens the many people who help patients in Texas obtain access to abortion by creating more than $10,000 potential liability for anyone who so much as gives a patient a ride to an abortion provider or otherwise “aids or abets” an abortion. The amici state, the brief explains, are committed to shielding their residents and clinicians from these harms when they help a patient in Texas obtain constitutionally protected care.

Finally, Attorney General Herring and the coalition argue that it is essential for the federal district court to grant a preliminary injunction of the law to stop the irreparable harm that S.B. 8 is inflicting on people in Texas and across the country, including the amici states. Forcing a patient to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, the brief argues, will lead to negative health and socioeconomic consequences, including placing people who are forced to carry a pregnancy to term at greater risk of life-threatening illnesses and harming their ability to maintain full-time employment.

Attorney General Herring has been a strong advocate for women’s healthcare and reproductive rights in Virginia. Last week, Attorney General Herring led a coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. Wilson, arguing that South Carolina’s six-week abortion ban harms women’s healthcare and a lower court’s ruling blocking the law should be upheld. He has stood against attacks on women’s reproductive freedom and has fought in court to defend women’s access to comprehensive healthcare services, including abortion and birth control. He issued an official advisory opinion that helped protect women’s health clinics from expensive and medically unnecessary retrofits that would have closed many Virginia clinics that offer abortion services. Attorney General Herring successfully fought alongside his colleagues in the Whole Women’s Health case to strike down Texas’s onerous, medically unnecessary regulations, and he has fought for women’s reproductive justice around the country, working with colleagues to oppose medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion in Ohio and Alabama. Additionally, he continuously fought against the Trump Administration’s attacks on women’s access to the full range of reproductive health care services and contraception options.

Joining Attorney General Herring in filing today’s amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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Governor Northam and the First Lady Announce 2021 Women in Innovation Conference

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Governor Ralph Northam announced on September 15, 2021, the Commonwealth’s second annual Women in Innovation conference will be held on September 22. It is presented by the Secretary of Administration in collaboration with the Virginia Information Technology Agency Innovation Program. This year’s conference is an opportunity to uplift women innovators and celebrate the groundbreaking women who paved the way.

“Virginia is a state that celebrates diversity,” said Governor Northam. “I am proud that our administration has more women in executive leadership roles than any previous Governor’s office. We need more women in leadership in our government and the private sector, and this is an opportunity for groundbreaking women leaders to speak about their experiences, and inspire the next generation.”

The conference is an opportunity for women across the Commonwealth, and nation, to come together, share their experiences, and influence the next generation of women leaders. This year’s event will include discussions from women who have excelled in their field, ranging from leaders in broadcast journalism to athletes who accomplished extraordinary feats.

“As a daughter, mother, First Lady, and educator, developing the talent of the next generation’s leaders is vital to Virginia’s success,” said First Lady Pamela Northam. “I’m excited to share my story, and I hope that it can inspire everyone participating in the Women in Innovation conference.”


“Being a leader and the Secretary of Administration, it is my privilege to be a mentor to my coworkers and employees,” said Secretary of Administration Grindly Johnson. “The Women in Innovation conference is a chance for leaders in their respective fields to display their accomplishments and participate in future collaboration.”

This year’s Women in Innovation conference is a free, virtual event for anyone who would like to attend. Visit the website to register. The conference is on September 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST. The Women in Innovation conference is a production of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency Innovation Program, led by Chief Information Officer Nelson Moe. The Women in Innovation planning team is thankful for your support of such an impactful event. For more information, email vip@vita.virginia.gov.

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Governor Northam encourages Virginians to celebrate Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month

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RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today proclaimed September 15 to October 15 as Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month.

“As we mark 53 years of commemorating National Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month, Pam and I encourage all Virginians to join us in celebrating the important history and enduring contributions of the Hispanic and Latino community throughout Virginia and our country. They enrich our communities by sharing their vibrant culture and heritage.

“Throughout this month, we honor and celebrate the hard work and dedication of our Hispanic and Latino men and women who have contributed greatly to the success of our Commonwealth. Hispanic and Latino Virginians continue to make great strides in public office and civil rights issues, supporting the fight for justice and equality for all, and successfully advocating for the historic passage of language access and of protections for all immigrants regardless of citizenship status.

“We acknowledge their deep-rooted history and foundation in our country and in our Commonwealth. We highlight their leadership in business and education, and their service in the fight against COVID-19 as healthcare and frontline workers. We recognize the dedication of our public servants as teachers and government employees. We commend the service of Hispanic and Latino men and women in the military protecting our democracy and freedom.


“The stories of Hispanic and Latino people are woven into the fabric of our communities. I invite all Virginians to participate in virtual and other safe celebrations of Hispanic and Latino heritage taking place in communities around the Commonwealth. Hispanic and Latino history is Virginia’s history.”

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Task Force on culturally inclusive school meals and calendars shares report with Governor Northam

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On September 9, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam received the final report of the Task Force on Culturally Inclusive School Meals and Calendars after sharing a meal with task force members, educators, and students at Beville Middle School. The full report is available here.

Recommendations include:

• Helping schools understand the religious and cultural needs of their students, assess their cultural inclusivity practices, and identify opportunities for growth;

• Creating culturally inclusive food pantries in partnership with local and faith-based organizations; and


• Recognizing schools that implement innovative and inclusive school meal and calendar practices

“When schools acknowledge and celebrate diverse cultures, customs, and cuisines, it strengthens the sense of belonging in school communities,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “I am pleased with the task force’s work to identify ways to support healthy, compassionate learning environments for students.”

The task force was charged with identifying best practices equipping schools to adopt culturally and religiously inclusive calendars and serve meals that accommodate more dietary restrictions.

The task force recommends that schools seek public input, to ensure the religions and cultures of students are represented on academic calendars. Under these recommendations, schools will not require the recognition of all significant dates on the calendar, nor eliminate holidays currently recognized, but will encourage schools and institutions of higher education to provide opportunities for students to celebrate the cultural and religious days that are significant to their tradition.

“School divisions and higher education institutions have the opportunity to be more inclusive in the meals they serve and holidays they recognize to honor the diversity of Virginia’s students and educators,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “The task force has outlined recommendations to promote expanded meal offerings and recognize religious and cultural holidays that bear significant importance to many students in our classrooms, even if they may not currently be acknowledged on school calendars.”

Members of the task force included:

• Farah Ahmad of Gainesville, Community Service, Interfaith, and Government Relations Assistant, McLean Islamic Center
• Sandra C. Curwood of Richmond City, State Director, Office of School Nutrition Programs, Virginia Department of Education
• Megan Day of Catlett, Student and Virginia Future Farmers of America State President
• Hurunnessa Fariad of Sterling, Head of Outreach, The All Dulles Muslim Society (ADAMS Center)
• Lindsey Fox of Blacksburg, Interim District Director, VA PTA’s Parkway District
• Nina Ha of Blacksburg, Director, Asian Cultural Engagement Center at Virginia Tech
• Heidi Hertz of Richmond City, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry
• Qiu Jin of Virginia Beach, Director of the Institute of Asian Studies and Associate Professor of History, Old Dominion University
• Monica Manns of Richmond City, Chief Equity, Diversity Officer, Henrico County Public Schools
• Karishma Merchant of Alexandria, Senior Education and Workforce Policy Advisor, Office of U.S. Senator Tim Kaine
• Sarah Moran of King George, Registered Dietitian, The Dr. Yum Project
• Vijay Ramnarain of Chesterfield, Director of Support Services, Department of Education
• Adam Russo of Manassas, Director of the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services, Prince William County Public Schools
• Lyons Sanchezconcha of Richmond City, Educator, Richmond Public Schools
• Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky of Silver Spring, Maryland, Director of Intergroup Relations and Rabbi in Residence, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington
• Beth Teigen of Powhatan, Chief of Staff to the Superintendent, Henrico County Public Schools
• Jonathan C. Zur of Richmond City, President and CEO, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities

“All students, educators, and families should feel a sense of belonging in their schools and institutions of higher education,” said task force member Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky. “Religious and ethnic minorities often feel isolated when choosing how to observe a holiday that falls on a school day, especially if the school does not acknowledge the observances important to their traditions. By proactively and intentionally creating an inclusive academic calendar, PK-12 schools and higher education institutions can foster belonging and equity for all students, and allow students to more fully lean into their religious and cultural identities.”

Later this fall, the task force will present their recommendations to the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet and will share their recommendations with superintendents, school nutrition directors, higher education representatives, school board members, and other relevant stakeholders.

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8:00 am 2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider ... @ Valley View Farm
2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider ... @ Valley View Farm
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2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider Challenge @ Valley View Farm
Come enjoy the challenging routes at Sky Meadows State Park and Valley View Farm, home of the Gnarled Orchard. These courses are knotty, knot nice at the farm as they are a mix of cross[...]
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2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
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WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
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6:00 pm Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
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Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
The Col. John S. Mosby Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will lead the annual “Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony” commemorating the fallen of Mosby’s command at 6 pm on Thursday, September 23rd, at Front Royal’s[...]
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10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
10:00 am National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. A blight decimated American Chestnut trees in North America in the 1920s. One hundred years later, Sky Meadows State Park has teamed up with the Virginia Chapter of the[...]
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Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
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Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Stop by the Friends of Sky Meadows Farmer’s Market for tasty preserved products, heirloom vegetables, eggs and more. Pick from seasonal vegetables grown in Sky Meadows’ authentic Kitchen Garden, July through September. Grab[...]
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10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 26 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
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2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
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Sep 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
Sep
28
Tue
7:00 pm Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Dominion Ridge Academy is proud to host this free community event for parents featuring international speaker, author, and comedian Christopher O’Shaughnessy. Come enjoy an evening of laughter and inspiration as Chris addresses the themes of[...]
Oct
2
Sat
4:00 pm Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oct 2 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
October 2, 2021 from 4pm-8pm All are welcome to attend the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Wakefield Country Day School. Loosen your Leiderhosen and get ready for Oktoberfest! This year, the Edelweiss Band is coming to[...]