News & Politics

DC Mayor Forms Group to Evaluate Named Public Spaces and Statues

The group will provide recommendations on whether the city should rename, revise, or contextualize the spaces

A protest at the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park on Tuesday, June 23. Photograph by Evy Mages

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new working group that will evaluate named public spaces and statues in the District. DC FACES will provide recommendations to Mayor Bowser by Fall 2020 about whether spaces need renaming, revising, or contextualization.

Chaired by Senior Advisor Beverly Perry and DC Public Library Executive Director Richard Reyes-Gavilan, the Working Group will assess whether namesakes of DC public spaces contributed to the oppression of African Americans or other communities of color, contributed to systemic racism, or played a role in contributing to other biases.

“DC’s public buildings, monuments and spaces must reflect DC’s current values, not those from centuries ago,” said Perry in a press release. “As our values and cultural understandings change over time, our commemorative symbols must change to portray our values.”

Some of the spaces the group will be evaluating include DC government-owned streets, DC government-owned buildings, DC government-owned parks, DC neighborhoods and campuses, and statues in DC government-owned parks. The process will include a community engagement survey and outreach to external partners.

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.