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Living History: Carlotta Walls LaNier

McLEAN, VIRGINIA —A handful of lucky library supporters were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience when Fairfax Library Foundation hosted a V.I.P. meet-and-greet with civil rights trailblazer, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Sunday, February 25, at the McLean Community Center. The intimate, ticket-only fundraiser, preceded Fairfax County Public Library’s author talk and booksigning with LaNier at The Alden Theatre that afternoon.

LaNier was the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine, the group of African-American students whose successful 1957 effort to attend then-segregated Little Rock Central High School was a watershed event in the civil rights movement. She received the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in 1958, the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999, and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015. LaNier’s memoir, A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School, was published in 2009

Attendees enjoyed refreshments and intimate, face-to-face interaction with Ms. LaNier. Among the attendees was Georgetown University Black Graduate Student Association President Kevyanna Rawls, who herself graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 2015—the very same school LaNier helped to desegregate in 1957. The event was part of the Beyond the Books series of V.I.P. author events sponsored by Fairfax Library Foundation.

Since 1994, the Fairfax Library Foundation has existed solely with the mission to enhance the programs and services of the Fairfax County Public Library, the largest public library system in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable and educational organization, the Foundation provides supplementary support to the community by providing access to information, technology, innovations, civic engagement and entertainment, and by offering literacy and educational opportunities.


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