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Woodrow Wilson Library Renames Conference Room After Carmen Fernandez

Carmen Fernandez Meeting Room

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Fairfax County officials gathered Saturday to honor Carmen Fernandez, a longtime pillar of the Culmore community.

A conference room at the Woodrow Wilson Library in Falls Church now bears plaques in Fernandez’s honor. The Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) Board of Trustees voted in June 2022 to confer the honor.

Born in Cuba, Fernandez came to the U.S. in 1960 and worked as a social worker in Arlington County for 25 years before founding the nonprofit Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect (HACAN), according to her obituary.

Fernandez spent many Saturday mornings in the Woodrow Wilson Library room that now bears her name facilitating community programs and activities for elementary school-aged children through a HACAN program known as Morning Star, as well as parenting education classes through the Morning Star Mothers program.

Supervisor Penny Gross“It’s Saturday morning and here we are at the Woodrow Wilson Library, where Carmen spent hundreds of Saturday mornings,” said Fairfax County Supervisor Penny Gross. “That was Carmen, always willing to give time and effort to her community … Her legacy is here, in the faces of the many children she inspired.

HACAN is a nonprofit educational and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening families in Northern Virginia through parent education and out-of-school activities that serve and support youth, according to its website.

Carmen Paredes, HACAN’s executive director, also had words of praise for Fernandez, calling her “an extraordinary woman who could see people’s potential and believe in them.”

Fernandez’s children Silvia Brugge, Celia Fruchterman, Javier and Jorge Fernandez were on hand for the unveiling of the plaques.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant