Community Conversations

The library hosts periodic community conversations and panel discussions on topics of interest to the Falls Church community. Watch recordings from previous conversations below. Information about upcoming conversations will also be posted here as specific topics and dates are scheduled. 

Mainstreaming African American History in the Schools

Watch a recording of the library's community conversation (held via Zoom on Tuesday, May 18, 2021) about recent efforts locally and nationwide to include more local African American history in school curricula . What would this curriculum look like and how would it be implemented? Discussion panelist included:

  • Ronald Anzalone, retired Director of the Office of Preservation Initiatives at the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and Chair of the Falls Church Historical Commission
  • William Bates, Chief Academic Officer of Falls Church City Public Schools
  • Valerie Hardy, Principal at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School
  • Edwin B. Henderson, II,  Founder of the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, Vice-Chair of the Falls Church Historical Commission, Board Member of Falls Church City Public Schools
  • Dr. Peter Noonan, Superintendent of Falls Church City Public Schools

Affordable Housing in Falls Church

Watch a recording of the library's community conversation (held via Zoom on Tuesday, November 17, 2020) on affordable housing in Falls Church . Falls Church is one of the most desirable places to live in the region, but it is increasingly difficult for low-income people to do so.  Affordable housing is necessary for Falls Church to achieve its goals of diversity and inclusivity.  What are the barriers that exist in creating affordable housing in Falls Church and how can citizens get involved in overcoming them?  Discussion panelists included: 

  • Nancy Vincent: Director, City of Falls Church Housing and Human Services
  • Dana Lewis: Housing Program Analyst, City of Falls Church Housing and Human Services
  • Peter Davis: Co-Founder, Democracy Policy Network and Member of the City of Falls Church Housing Commission
  • Michael Chiappa: Director of Real Estate Development, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing

Police Reform

Watch a recording of the library's community conversation (held via Zoom on Wednesday, August 5, 2020) about police reform in the City of Falls Church . Learn more about the national Mayor’s Pledge (which was signed by Mayor Tarter in June 2020); the City’s Use of Force Review Committee; the principles of 21st century policing; and what issues lie behind the "defund police" movement. Discussion panelists included:

  • Mary Gavin, Chief of Police, City of Falls Church
  • Sean Perryman, President of the Fairfax County NAACP
  • Steve Mason, HR Director, City of Falls Church (and former Alexandria police officer and investigator with Alexandria’s Office of Human Rights) 
  • Jenny Carroll, Library Director, Mary Riley Styles Public Library