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Cristin Bratt
Communications Director

NCS Joins County Leaders to Recognize National Day of Racial Healing in Fairfax County

On Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, Fairfax County's Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) joined members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and leaders from Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to proclaim January 16, 2024, as a National Day of Racial Healing in Fairfax County. The event recognized the partnership between NCS and NOVA to promote racial healing and upward mobility that will secure a more equitable, just and inclusive community. 

The National Day of Racial Healing is a national movement championed by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) initiative to restore individuals and communities to wholeness by repairing the damage caused by racism. NOVA was selected by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) as a TRHT Center in the spring of 2021. It joins 70 other colleges and universities that have implemented visionary action plans with the shared goal of erasing barriers to equal treatment and opportunity on campuses and in communities. 

Through the partnership with NOVA's THRT Center, NCS community developers have been trained as TRHT Circle Facilitators. In this role, they will help break down systemic racism and dismantle a hierarchy of human values through healing circles in communities. To commemorate the National Day of Racial Healing, NCS will host age-appropriate activities at community, senior and teen centers that encourage participants to find space for racial healing in their lives. Planned activities for elementary students through older adults include healing circles, art projects, lectures and facilitated dialogue on racial healing.   

The partnership aligns with Fairfax County's One Fairfax initiative in ensuring an equity lens is applied to County decisions.  It also aligns with NCS' 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' 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. 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.

“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 stands 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 NCS Community, Senior or Teen Center has a National Day of Racial Healing program or event by asking at the front desk.  

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

Below: Jeffrey McKay, Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, presents a proclamation to Dr. Anne Kress, President of Northern Virginia Community College, declaring January 16, 2024, a Day of Racial Healing in Fairfax County.

National Day of Racial Healing proclamation
Pictured Left to Right: Jenn Bristow, Development Manager, NOVA Educational Foundation; Pallas Washington, NCS Deputy Director; Dalia Palchik, Providence District rep, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; James Bierman, Dranesville District rep, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Lloyd Tucker, NCS Director; Jeffrey McKay, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Nigel Word, NOVA Director of Student Leadership; Dan Storck, Mount Vernon District rep, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Dr. Anne Kress, NOVA President; Diane Mucci, NOVA Annandale Campus Provost; James Walkinshaw, Braddock District rep, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Dr. Nathan Carter, NOVA Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer; Karla Bruce, Fairfax County Chief Equity Officer; Catherine Novelli, NOVA Advisory Board Member; and Ambassador Joseph Huggins, Chair, NOVA Advisory Board.  

Click photo for high-resolution photo.  

For more photos, visit the event Flickr album. You can watch footage of the event below.  

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Cristin Bratt, NCS Communications Director
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