The City Council has launched a community engagement process to address racial and social equity and nomenclature in Fairfax City. Working in conjunction with George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, the City Council will provide a platform for facilitating community engagement on the topics of confederate-related street and place names, historical markers and monuments, and elements of the City seal in the context of how those symbols reflect the City Council’s goals of inclusivity and building community.
To facilitate community involvement, the City Council will appoint a 15-member stakeholder group, comprised of a diverse group of city residents, who will participate in “Community Learning Sessions” throughout out the winter and early spring 2021. These sessions, which will involve presentations and conversations connecting current realities with the City’s historical past, will be led and facilitated by professors and students from the Carter School. In addition to participating in these sessions, members of the Stakeholders Group will solicit views and discussion points from their communities and present them to a Core City Staff Team. This community engagement process will continue into summer 2021 and will include receiving feedback from the public. The process will culminate with the presentation of recommendations by the Stakeholders Group to the City Council.
The Stakeholders Group will be appointed by the City Council and will comprise 12 at-large members, plus one representative from each of the following groups: Historic Fairfax City, Inc., the Mosby Woods Community Association, and Neighbors for Change. The Stakeholders Group will be chaired by Susan Gray, the Director of the City’s Office of Historic Resources.
To be considered for membership in the Stakeholders Group, candidates must apply by completing a questionnaire and submitting it to CityClerk@fairfaxva.gov. Any interested City of Fairfax resident may submit the questionnaire. Applications will be considered by the City’s Core Staff Team and City Council members. The City’s Core Staff Team expects to convene the first meeting of the Stakeholders Group during the week of December 7. More information is at available here on the City website.