November 2, 2021

The 16-member Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG or Group) of “Connecting Fairfax City for All” – a city-wide initiative aimed at promoting social justice and racial inclusivity – recently presented its initial set of concrete and pragmatic recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.

The Group consists of residents from each of the six city precincts, across a range of age groups, races, and ethnicities, as well as local businesses and community groups.

Its recommendations were formulated after an extensive and structured series of listening and learning exercises with the broader community of Fairfax City residents. As the sole representative of the city’s business community, Visionary played an active and substantive role in this exercise.

Know more about Visionary’s commitment to this worthy cause, and how it correlates with our corporate values and culture.

This initial set of recommendations deals with selectively and judiciously tweaking or reconfiguring the identifying symbols, the monuments and markers, and the names of streets and neighborhoods, that commemorate certain confederate personages and events, and perpetuate the systemic racism and social inequity embedded within them.

Here is a snapshot of some of the key recommendations made by the SAG:

City Seal

The Group suggested retaining the current shape of the city seal, along with the motto and the motif of Dogwood Flowers, which were seen to reflect the desired values of unity, inclusivity, and diversity.

However, it recommended the removal of potentially offensive depictions of the Confederate Soldier, John Quincy Marr, and the British Lord Fairfax. It also advocated for the replacement of the coat-of-arms with a more contemporary graphic, reflective of the ethos of the City of Fairfax.

Monuments and Markers

The SAG sought neither to glorify nor to obscure confederate-related memorials, monuments, and buildings such as:

  • Monument to Confederate Dead
  • United Daughters of the Confederacy Monument
  • Mosby’s Midnight Raid
  • Ford House/Building
  • Moore House
  • Joshua Gunnell House
  • W.P. Gunnell House
  • Old Town Hall

Instead, it proposed adding interpretive markers or modifying existing ones, to educate the public by providing them with an accurate and objective historical perspective on each of them.

Street and Neighborhood Names

The SAG zeroed in on confederate-related street and neighborhood names with racist overtones or associated with slavery. Some of the streets and neighborhoods identified include:

  • Lee Highway
  • Old Lee Highway
  • Old Lee Hills (Subdivision)
  • Pickett’s Reserve (Subdivision)
  • Mosby Road
  • Mosby Woods (Subdivision)
  • Plantation Parkway
  • Confederate Lane
  • Raider Lane
  • Ranger Road
  • Reb Street
  • Scarlet Circle
  • Singleton Circle
  • Traveler Street
  • Mosby Woods Drive
  • Stonewall Estates (Subdivision)
  • Stonewall Avenue
  • Lee Street

The group proposed various innovative ways to engage with the city’s residents to come up with alternative names that foster a strong sense of community to replace the nomenclature perceived to be offensive or discriminatory to minority communities.

View the detailed report presented by the SAG to the city council here.

Watch this space for further updates!

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