By Beth Hahn & Terry Myers Zawacki
Everywhere you look in the Falls Church community, you will see evidence of the positive and lasting impact that women have had, and continue to have, on our everyday lives: Evidence of the bravery and tenacity of the women who first settled here and established schools and a fledgling community; evidence of the determination and diligence of women who fought for equality, the right to vote, the opportunity to open businesses and found schools and churches; and evidence more recently of the dedication and perseverance of the women who have supported the arts and historic preservation, served on the School Board and City Council, and established non-profits and community organizations that work every day to improve the lives of individuals and create a better community for all of us.
In short, women’s history is everywhere in Falls Church. Our hope is that by celebrating and honoring the significant accomplishments and triumphs of women in the past and present, we will inspire more women to become actively involved in the life of our community, carrying on this legacy. Participation does not require major commitments or grand gestures but rather becoming involved, even if in a small way, in the many opportunities right on our doorsteps. Opportunities to make a difference abound. For example, local non-profits and City boards and commissions seek volunteers in the caring community (Homestretch, the Falls Church Homeless Shelter, Welcoming Falls Church), or in the arts and culture scene (Falls Church Arts, Creative Cauldron, Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, Friends of Cherry Hill), or in environmental stewardship (the Environmental Sustainability Council, the Urban Forestry Commission). To help you find your niche, the Falls Church Women’s History Group has posted on our website a list of organizations that welcome involvement (Get Involved in Falls Church).
The women recognized by the Women’s History Walk saw a need and found a way to make our community better. Most started small, and some of our early forbearers may have never even known what a profound effect their actions would have on generations to come. But they all got involved; they participated, and we hope you will too!
This month, look for the Herstory Stations to be located throughout the Little City. Rather than a one-day walk, join in a month-long, City-wide scavenger hunt to find the 60 Women’s History Walk Signs, which will be posted at 28 locations all around the city, from City Hall to the Library, outside each of the schools, and in businesses that have all joined in the celebration of these inspiring women during Women’s History Month. Visit the Falls Church Women’s History Walk website to find a full map of the signs (Google Falls Church Women’s History Walk, or go to https://sites.google.com/view/fc-womens-history-walk/home).
“Women’s History Month empowers young girls around the nation with courage, self-esteem, and willpower to walk in our ancestors’ footsteps,” Jennifer Farmer writes in New York Nurse Magazine. “Our history will also inspire current and future generations to emulate the women who laid the framework for us to succeed, be treated equitably, and be recognized in society.” This is why it’s so important to learn about, remember, and amplify the lives, the voices, and the work of these amazing women in Falls Church. We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate, and join in the journey of continuing to make Falls Church a vibrant, welcoming, and thriving community.