February 04 2021

Community Listening and Learning Session

The first Connecting Fairfax City for All listening and learning session was held February 4, 2021. City of Fairfax Historic Resources Director Susan Gray presented “Fairfax: Crossroads of Conflict in the American Civil War, 1861-65: How Those Events and Personalities Have Been Memorialized and Interpreted.” Watch the presentation.

February 11 2021

Community Listening and Learning Session

Dr. Karen L. Cox, professor of history at the University of North Carolina, presents “The Lost Cause and Confederate Monuments and Memory” at 7 p.m. Facilitated discussion will follow her presentation.

The city was granted permission from the presenter to share the recorded session for five days.

February 25 2021

Community Listening and Learning Session

J. Brent Tarter, historian and author and editor of the Library of Virginia’s Discovering Virginia Biography, presented “The 1902 Virginia Constitution: White Supremacy and Disenfranchisement." 

Watch his presentation. (Start at the 8:00 mark.)

March 11 2021

Community Listening and Learning Session

Jarrod Elwell and Michelle Juma from Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. presented The History of Now: Racial Equity and Housing in the City of Fairfax."

Enterprise Community Partners is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the supply of affordable housing, advance racial equity, and build community resilience and upward mobility.

Watch the presentation

Due to limited space in the virtual environment, registration is required to participate in the dialogue session. Register now.

March 25 2021

Community Listening and Learning Session

Mark C. Hopson, Ph.D., Director of African and African American Studies, and Associate Professor of Communications at George Mason University presents “Reimagining America: Why All the Protests? Having ‘The Talk’ about Race and Racism” at 7 p.m. A facilitated conversation will follow. 

He is joined by Gina Castle, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Saint John’s University and author of Talking Black and White: An Intercultural Exploration of 21st Century Racism, Prejudice and Perception.  

This Fairfax County Public Library presentation was recorded June 17, 2020. 

Dr. Hopson is the co-editor of a new book Reimagining Black Masculinities: Critical Essays on Race, Gender and Public Space.

Watch the recorded session

April 08 2021

Community Listening and Learning Session

Fairfax Schools: Racially-Separate to Desegregation to Diversity

Participate in a panel discussion on the racial segregation and desegregation processes in Fairfax Schools. Panelists are:

Dr. Phyllis Pajardo, Superintendent, Fairfax City Schools

Dr. Erin Lenart, Principal, Fairfax High School

Dr. Mitch Sutterfield, School Board Member

Watch the presentation.

April 22 2021

Community Listening and Learning Session

Tom Gjelten, author of Nations of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story and a veteran National Public Radio correspondent, and City of Fairfax Planner and Demographer Eric Forman present “Fairfax City: Our Changing Demographics” at 7 p.m. 

Gjelten will present the historical context for our community’s demographic shift since the 1965 Immigration Act. Forman will illustrate the city’s population changes with charts, graphs, and statistics.

Use this link to participate.

Register to participate in the dialogue session after the presentation. 

May 06 2021

Community Listening and Learning Session

Merri K. Davis, Ph.D., founder and executive director of the The Center for Well-Being and Resiliency, LLC, presents “Understanding Community Perceptions of Confederate Symbols within a Framework of Trauma” at 7 p.m.

Join the conversation via Zoom. This link provides access to the presentation and the discussion afterward. 

May 20 2021

Community Listening and Learning Session

Panel Discussion at 7 p.m.: “Neighbors Together for Equity and Inclusion”


  • Karla Bruce, chief equity officer, Fairfax County
  • Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott, co-chair, George Mason University’s Anti-Racism Inclusive Excellence Task Force
  • Gretchen Bulova, director, Office of Historic Alexandria, and co-chair of Alexandria’s Remembrance Project

Watch the session.

June 03 2021

Community Listening and Learning Session

Community Listening and Learning Session 

An expert panel will present “Researching and Making Decisions on Confederate Symbols and Street Names” at 7 p.m. 


Denice Dressel, MAHP, Fairfax County Heritage Resources, Department of Planning and Development

Tanya Stern, AICP, Deputy Planning Director, Montgomery County (MD) Planning Department

Rebeccah Ballo, Historic Preservation Supervisor, Montgomery County (MD) Planning Department

Watch the session.

June 24 2021

Final Community Listening and Learning Session

Commemorating the Civil War:  Listening to Community Voices

7 p.m., Thursday, June 24.  

Blake Myers

President, Bull Run Civil War Roundtable

Jennifer Loux

Program Manager, Historical Markers Division

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Marion Cohen

African American Historian and Living History Interpreter

Join the virtual session