Elevate Black Voices • Sustain awareness of racial injustice

SILENT WITNESS

Welcome to our Silent Witness Against Racial Injustice page.
On June 19, 2020, members of Falls Church Presbyterian, The Falls Church (Episcopal), and Columbia Baptist, along with neighbors and friends, joined together in silent witness to commemorate Juneteenth and demonstrate against racial injustice. The witness did not end on that day. We continue to gather every other week along Broad Street in Falls Church to sustain awareness of racial injustice toward Black lives and all People of Color. Please join us.
Please note, starting on November 7th, the Silent Witness Against Racial Injustice will be held every other Saturday from 12:00 to 1:00 pm to accommodate for the time change.

Bring your sign  | Wear a mask  |  Stand 6-10 feet apart from each other

Next Silent Witness Event:

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Please join the Falls Church faith community and neighbors on Saturday, November 7, in a Silent Witness Against Racial Injustice from 12:00-1:00 p.m. along Broad Street.

School is the doorway to the future, and most of us can assume that an education leads to a bright tomorrow. Poor literacy levels, however, lead to fewer job options, low earnings, limited healthcare, and narrowed life options for many Black students. This persistent achievement gap is due in part to unequal school funding, poor teacher training, and high teacher turnover in predominantly Black communities. Black students perform steadily behind their peers in national achievement tests that assess basic reading and math skills. In neighboring Arlington, parents of Black and Latino students have called on their wealthy school system to provide reading and spelling methods that are backed by cognitive science. In a recent letter, parents stated, “… the disparities amongst the minority students evident in all data persist, revealing deep systemic inequities that can no longer be ignored.”

Next Silent Witness is November 7th

Looking for ways to financially support the fight against racism? 

Here are some suggestions from our Justice Ministry Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Question
What is a “Silent Witness?”
Is it a protest?
Answer

A Silent Witness is an opportunity for the faith community to come together, show solidarity on an issue, and amplify the voices of the marginalized.  In essence it is a protest, but it is also a way to leverage our faith community, while focusing on others in need.

Question
What is the Silent Witness Against Racial Injustice all about?
Answer

Falls Church Presbyterian Church started the Silent Witness Against Racial Injustice to call attention to the seemingly endless number of police shootings of Black Americans.  We wanted to stand in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters, to amplify their voices in protest against this violence, and to sustain awareness in the Falls Church community of these issues. We also wanted these Silent Witness events to be ecumenical, which is why we continue to invite the faith community along Broad Street (Route 7) to join us in silent witness.

Question
How often do these Silent Witness events happen?
Answer

We schedule these Silent Witness events every 14 days, rain or shine, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm on Fridays.  This gives us time to prepare our social media advertising on the key focus area for the next event. Beginning November 7th, the events will take place every 14 days on Saturdays from noon to 1:00pm.

Question
What kinds of focus areas are you highlighting?
Answer

The Silent Witness events focus around issues of racial injustice, but also around significant events in the Black community.  So far, we have commemorated Juneteenth, protested the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Talyor, and reforming the police.  Our upcoming events will highlight the lives of the Honorable John Lewis and Rev. C.T. Vivian, and the disenfranchisement of Black voters.  We’re always looking for new themes and take inspiration from NAACP Fairfax, Black Lives Matter DC, and events across the nation.

Question
But what if I don’t have a sign?
Answer

It’s OK, we’ve got extra signs for folks.  We’re just happy to have you join us!

Question
Where do I stand?
Answer

We prefer that you stand on either side of Broad Street in Falls Church on the sidewalk.  We would prefer to extend our line toward Washington Street to maximize our visibility to passing traffic. 

Question
How are you ensuring people’s safety during the pandemic?​
Answer

We’ve asked people to wear masks and maintain a physical distance of six to ten feet. We also have “event captains”—look for their fluorescent vests—to keep an eye on every one’s compliance with the guidelines. 

Question
How do people react to your events?
Answer

So far, we have had a mix of reactions.  Most people honk in support as they pass by.  We’ve also had some negative reactions, but those seem to be fewer. 

Question
I still have questions. Who should I talk to?
Answer

If you’re coming to a Silent Witness event look for someone in a fluorescent vest. If you’d like more information contact our Justice Ministry Leaders.

 

Check out this quick recap from our Juneteenth Silent Witness.

Ready to get involved? Join us at our next Silent Witness.

Get Connected

There are many ways to get involved in the life and ministry here at Falls Church Presbyterian. Whether you are looking to join a ministry team, serve others through our Welcome Table ministry, sing in the choir or simply find a community to call home, we welcome you and hope that you will find grace, wholeness, and renewal here. 

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