Social Justice & Racial Equity

  1. Library Closed Monday, July 4

    The library will be closed on Monday, July 4, for the Independence Day holiday. 

    Mask Requirements & New Library Hours

    • Masks are welcome but no longer required in the library. Learn more...
    • Starting Monday, March 7, the library will have new regular hours. Learn more...

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 Opens in new window

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, Watch, and Learn More on the Issue:

  • 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."

Proquest Black Freedom Struggle in the U.S.

Access primary source documents from historical newspaper articles, pamphlets, diaries, correspondence and more covering specific time periods in U.S. history marked by the opposition African Americans have faced on the road to freedom. Supports a wide range of students, from middle and high school to college, as well independent researchers and anyone interested in learning more about the ongoing Black Freedom Struggle. Resources are curated into six time periods: Resistance to Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860); The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877); Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932); The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945); The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975); and The Contemporary Era (1976-2000).