Saturday Fairfax Co. event to reveal ‘hidden history’ of Justice Park

The Fairfax County, Virginia, NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Committee is holding an event Saturday to “Discover the Hidden History of Justice Park.”

The event is being held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Justice Park location at 3312 Peace Valley Lane in Seven Corners.

Edwin Henderson, founder of the Tinner Heritage Foundation, will be there to discuss the Black families who once owned land on the site and were displaced by the construction of Justice Park and Justice High School.

JEB Stuart High was renamed Justice High in 2017 after a Fairfax County School Board vote.

Over the past year, area residents have been fighting the Fairfax County Public Schools’ and Park Authority’s plans to build a parking lot there to accommodate an addition for Justice High School.

Mark Doehnert, who lives in the area, has completed research that shows 93% of the land where Justice Park was developed had been owned by Black families. Several families went to court and were unsuccessful in trying to retain their property, according to a news release about the event.

“The NAACP event is a significant one to keep the pressure on both FCPS and the Park Authority to stay out of the park,” said Kathleen Brown, president of the Ravenwood Citizens Association and member of the Justice High School PTSA.

“It’s a community green space with a history and deep meaning for us all, now and for generations to come.”

Representatives from other historically Black communities in Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity will be there as well.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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