Marguerite and James Mott were instrumental in the integration of Fairfax County recreation facilities and the quest for equality in Northern Virginia.
The Motts began their activism after they were turned away from picnicking at Lake Fairfax Park in 1965. They subsequently sued in U.S. District Court in Alexandria and won equal access to county facilities for Black people.
They later worked to establish the Braddock Community Center in Fairfax in 1969. In 1995, when the county rebuilt the center, which began in a log cabin and later a trailer, it renamed the facility at 12111 Braddock Road the James and Marguerite Mott Community Center.
The Motts also founded a nonprofit, the Lincoln-Lewis-Vannoy Communities for Assistance and Improvement, which provided food for area families. In 2023, their nephew, Keith Mott, donated a collection of artifacts about the Motts to the center to honor their history.
“We are proud of the Motts’ impact,” said Chris Scales, NCS Division Director. “Their legacy continues to benefit, inspire, and motivate new generations of community activists and advocates to carry on the fight for justice and equality.”
This story is part of NCS Stories - an initiative to preserve and share stories of the persons, places and events that shaped the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services.