NOVA, Fairfax County’s Dept. of Neighborhood and Community Services Recognize National Day of Racial Healing

January 22, 2024

On Friday, January 12, Fairfax County's Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS), members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and leaders from Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) came together to proclaim Tuesday, January 16, 2024, a National Day of Racial Healing in the County. The proclamation event officially recognized the partnership between NCS and NOVA, formed to promote racial healing and upward mobility in pursuit of a more equitable, just and inclusive world.

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The National Day of Racial Healing is a movement championed by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) initiative, which seeks to restore individuals and communities to wholeness by repairing the damage caused by systemic racism. NOVA was selected by the Association of American Colleges and Universities as a TRHT Center in the spring of 2021. The College joins 70 other postsecondary educational institutions with action plans for eliminating barriers to equal treatment and opportunity, both on campus and in our wider communities. 

Through the partnership with NOVA's TRHT Center, NCS community developers have been trained as TRHT Healing Circle facilitators. In their role, facilitators help break down systemic racism by delicately dismantling false hierarchies in powerful community discussions. In commemoration of the National Day of Racial Healing, NCS hosted age-appropriate activities at community, senior and teen centers around the County, encouraging participants to find space for racial healing in their lives. Planned activities included Healing Circles, art projects, lectures and facilitated conversations.   

The NCS–NOVA partnership also aligns with Fairfax County's One Fairfax initiative, which seeks to ensure that County decisions are made with equity in mind.  Further, the collaboration advances NCS's mission to "partner with communities, families and individuals to provide opportunities to access a continuum of resources that promote equity and create positive outcomes for people of all ages and abilities." 

"NCS's mission is for people to feel a sense of belonging and inclusion," said Lloyd Tucker, NCS director. "Our partnership with NOVA's TRHT Center will help us to promote unity, understanding and healing as we create opportunities for upward mobility in communities across the County."

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik was joined by Chairman Jeffrey McKay, Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck in requesting unanimous support for the proclamation at the October 24, 2023, Board of Supervisors meeting. Subsequently, Chairman McKay, Supervisor Palchik and Supervisor Storck were joined by Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw and Dranesville District Supervisor James Bierman to present the proclamation at NOVA's Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center on the College’s Annandale Campus.

“It is critical to acknowledge the collaborative efforts that have brought us to this pivotal moment,” said Dr. Nathan Carter, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at NOVA. “Our College and the County stand united with more than 50 Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Centers across American college campuses, a testament to our collective commitment to dismantling false hierarchies in favor of deep understanding.”

Find out if your local NCS community, senior or teen center has a National Day of Racial Healing program or event by inquiring at the front desk.  

To explore opportunities to work with NOVA's Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center, contact Dr. Sherrene DeLong at SDeLong@nvcc.edu.

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