In the fall of 2020, the Fairfax City Council led by its Mayor David Meyer, resolved to build a more inclusive and equitable future that celebrates the city’s social and racial diversity.
Towards this end, it announced the launch of Connecting Fairfax City for all – a city-wide community outreach program, in partnership with the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.
The past informs the future
The initiative was aimed at sparking conversations, by way of a series of listening and learning sessions, to help erase the scars of systemic racism and social inequity inherent to a former Confederate stronghold – which the City of Fairfax had been up until 1862 – and to promote a spirit of reconciliation within the community.
It also sought to identify, and fuel discussion and debate over, the removal or replacement of confederate-related street and neighborhood names, as well as memorials and monuments to prominent confederate members, perceived to be deeply offensive symbols of racial persecution and social injustice.
The circle of stewardship
In January 2021, the City Council created a stakeholder group consisting of:
- Residents (at least one from each voting precinct) representing various racial and ethnic groups reflecting the city’s diversity.
- Representatives from interest groups and community associations such as the Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Historic Fairfax City, Inc., Mosby Woods Community Association, and Neighbors for Change.
- Representatives of the business community based in and around Fairfax city – mainly in an advisory capacity.
The key responsibilities of this stakeholder group were to:
- Work with the city council and with students and faculty members of the Carter School, to facilitate the series of listening and learning sessions.
- To drive community-wide participation and engagement.
Our commitment to the cause
Our conscious and voluntary decision to submit our company to be a part of the Stakeholder Group of the Connecting Fairfax City for All movement is yet another demonstration of our commitment to diversity, inclusivity and equity for all within the community.
Our leadership team has dedicated substantial time and effort, supporting the stakeholder group in the identification and elimination of nomenclature and symbols that appear counter to diversity, inclusivity and equity, while developing recommendations for actions to meet the objectives of the Connecting Fairfax City for All initiative.
The way forward
A great deal of work has been completed since the inception of the Stakeholder Advisory Group and much more remains to be done – leading to formal recommendations to be presented to the Mayor and City Council for consideration and action.
Our Visionary Team looks forward to being an integral component and key contributor to the success of this initiative by helping to create a future roadmap for a thriving community to live and work together in harmony, within the great City of Fairfax.
You can learn more about the Connecting Fairfax City for All program here. Meanwhile, we will, on our part, provide updates on the progress of this initiative via our website. Please feel free to reach out to our company representative, Michael Thornton, Sr, should you have questions or desire additional information.