Social Justice & Racial Equality

  1. COVID-19 UPDATE: Curbside Pickup & Returns            

    In response to COVID-19, the library building is closed to the public until further notice. We are offering contactless curbside pickup service, which can also be used to return items.

    Programs & Services While Closed


    We continue to offer a wide range of programs and services online. Check our Library at Home webpage or subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter to stay up to date!  

MRSPL stands against racism and social inequality

Statements Supporting Racial and Social Justice

Community Conversation on Police Reform

Community Conversation on Police Reform - Click to watch now

Watch a recording of the library's community conversation about police reform in the City of Falls Church (held via Zoom on Wednesday, August 5). Learn more about the national Mayor’s Pledge (which was signed by Mayor Tarter in June); 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

Re-Imaging America Series

Neighboring Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) recently held a virtual 3-part series seeking "to strengthen viewers ability to better understand the Black experience and encourage thinking critically about the national and international events and struggles for social justice." Facilitated by Mark C. Hopson, Ph.D. (Director of African and African American Studies, and Associate Professor of Communication at George Mason University), recordings of the series can be viewed for free through the FCPL’s webiste.

  • Part 1: History Taught Us: Exploring Yesterday’s Impact on Today
  • Part 2: "Why All The Protests?" Having "The Talk" About Race and Racism
  • Part 3: "If You Protest You May Die, If You Don’t Protest You May Die" A Generation-Z Perspective on Engagement 
  • VIew all three recordings and associated materials...

Read and Learn More on the Issue:

  • Conversations About Race: A selection of instant access ebooks and downloadable audiobooks from our Overdrive collection. No waiting lists. Available titles include:
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
    • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
    • Just Mercy by Brian Stevenson
    • Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
    • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
    • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcom X
    • The Nickle Boys by Colson Whitehead
    • Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene A. Carruthers
    • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race by Robin Diangelo
    • Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  • Social Justice & Activism: A wider selection of ebooks and downloadable audiobooks from our Overdrive collection on social justice and activism.
  • #OwnVoices: "Own Voices are a subset of diverse books that include some type of first-hand experience. #OwnVoices authors share a diverse, minority, or marginalized trait with their protagonist."
  • Social and Systemic Injustice: A selection of 34 documentaries on the topic of social and systemic injustice from our online Kanopy film collection. 
  • Tinner Hill: A Portrait in Black and White: "2011 collaboration between the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation and Creative Cauldron to tell the story of segregation and civil rights right here in Falls Church, Virginia. This is an uplifting and educational story, it is also honest: This play includes images of lynching, allusions to violence, depictions of white terrorist groups & hoods, and racial slurs. These do not comprise the majority of the piece, but they are included. Learn about Mary Ellen Henderson’s work to provide equality and education access in Falls Church. Please support the work of the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation and their intersectional Social Justice Committee, not just today, but in to the future."