Commitment to Equity & Inclusion
The City of Fredericksburg is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and engaging in important conversations in our community to ensure three goals:
- Our past is told in an inclusive and equitable manner, reflective of all voices.
- We continuously monitor and improve our present-day activities to ensure we create a safe and diverse community.
- We encourage residents to voice their opinions and desires as well as become actively involved in the city's legislative process to plan for our future.
We strive to become a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse place to work, live and visit. The City of Fredericksburg is grateful to all who have contributed and continue to work on the many important steps ahead.
Remembering Our History
As a community, we understand that history has been told through the view of only a few and we carry the responsibility of sharing the full story, one that is representative of all voices in our history.
These are the ways we are acting on our commitment to remembering our history:
Relocating & Recognizing the Slave Auction Block
The 1,200-pound Slave Auction Block, which once sat at the corner of Charles and William Streets, was removed on June 5, 2020, with its original location recognized in an October 2020 ceremony. In 2022 the Fredericksburg Area Museum unveiled the exhibit, "A Monumental Weight: The 'Auction Block' in Fredericksburg, Virginia." Read more about our city’s efforts to respectfully ensure appropriate relocation and management of its historical relevance.
Installing historical markers to better tell our full history
The City has committed to creating and installing new historical panels that better tell our complete story of Fredericksburg. These panels focus on contributions made to our community by Black and Indigenous people throughout the centuries. New panels were installed in 2021, 2022 and 2024, read more about them here. More panels are being planned for future installation.
The Fredericksburg Civil Rights Trail, launched in 2023, follows the stories and sites of the local Civil Rights movement and highlights the role of Black residents in Fredericksburg's history. Sites are located in historic downtown and on the campus of University of Mary Washington. Information on the FXBG Civil Right Trail is online here.
Telling a More Complete History of Fredericksburg
In 2018, City Council made a commitment to tell a more complete story of our diverse community and its history. As part of that initiative, in 2021, the City partnered with the Fredericksburg Area Museum in sponsoring the new position of Curator of African American History and Special Projects. Dr. Gaila Sims was hired in 2022 and has brought creativity, passion and professional insight into several important projects here in Fredericksburg. Dr. Sims’ expertise is helping advance City Council’s commitment and the storytelling of our whole community’s history. You can view the MOU that provided a framework for Dr. Sims’ work here: Memorandum of Understanding with Fredericksburg Area Museum for Sponsorship of a New Curator Position.
Renaming of Jefferson Davis Highway
On July 14, 2020 City Council passed a Resolution 20-57 in which they urged Virginia General Assembly to remove the name Jefferson Davis Highway from U.S. Route 1 statewide and replace it with a name that promotes our shared values of unity, equality, and a commitment to a better future for all Americans. HB 2075, renaming certain sections of Jefferson Davis Highway, was signed into law on March 30, with an effective date of January 1, 2022. Read more.
Evaluating & Implementing Responsible Policing
As our nation is faced with important and dynamic change, those who serve and protect us understand it is necessary to continuously evaluate responsible approaches and appropriate responses to maintaining the safety of the public while also respecting our residents’ freedom of speech.
These are the ways we are acting on our commitment to responsible policing:
Enlisting the Police Executive Research Forum, also known as PERF
The City enlisted PERF to conduct an independent review of the actions and use of force during demonstrations that occurred May and June 2020 during a time of dynamic and extraordinary circumstances in our community and our nation. Read more.
Expanding Citizen Advisory Panel & Adopting Policing Policy Changes
In advance of the PERF Report, the Fredericksburg Police Department adopted policy changes, expanded the Citizen Advisory Panel, and held departmental information events for the public. The department’s Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) reaccreditation one-year review was also completed in December 2020, reflecting 100% compliance with its 114 standards.
Pursuing Equity for All
The City of Fredericksburg understands we are living in very dynamic times and our purpose is to serve and protect our citizens, while continuously advancing how we do so in the most responsible and responsive manner possible.
These are the ways we are acting on our commitment to pursuing racial equity:
"Where We All Come Together" - Desired future state and priority planning
On May 13 and 14, 2021, Council held their biennial off-site and reflected on the Vision, Priorities and Desired Future States. Council eagerly agreed to add a new Desired Future State on equity: “Where We All Come Together. WE means everyone. Fredericksburg is a welcoming, inclusive community that actively engages its members and embraces partnerships to ensure racial equity as a value in all aspects of city life. Everyone feels they belong and shares a sense of place. Our diversity is woven into our community fabric and is reflected in our government, businesses, and vibrant city culture. Fredericksburg is a leader and a model of racial equity." Read more on our City's vision for what Fredericksburg will be in 2036 and the action plan to bring the vision to reality here.
Inviting Public Comment
Have a comment to submit about the City’s Racial Equity Initiatives? Please submit it here.
Recognizing the LGBTQIA+ Community
During Pride month in June, and all year ‘round, the City welcomes those from all walks of life and celebrates the contributions to the City from LGBTQIA+ persons.
Publishing Racial Equity Plan
Learn more about the City Council’s activities here.
Joining National Network
The City of Fredericksburg is a member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all.
Inviting Feedback on Racial Equity Plan
On-behalf of the City of Fredericksburg, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC) facilitated a racial equity survey and public input process. Read the details.