FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2022
CONTACT: Nadia A. Conyers
Phone: (703) 728-3756
New Children’s Book and Educational Resource Highlighting the Importance of Naming and Representation is Released on Amazon.
(Arlington, VA) Mother and daughter co-authors, Arrington Conyers and Nadia Conyers, announce the release of their new children’s book titled "From Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard." The 26-page educational book was written to inform children about the importance and meaning of representation and naming, especially within the African American community in the US.
Written in simple language that any child can enjoy, the book is entertaining and can be used as a powerful tool for parents to share useful and lifelong lessons with their children. Children will also learn about Congressman John M. Langston, the eponym of Langston Boulevard, and other African American heroes who have made significant contributions to society.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, many cities in the US were met with a demand to rename and rebrand streets, schools, and other edifices to disassociate from the legacies of their racist past. While having a conversation about the renaming of Lee Highway, the U.S. Route 29 running east-west through Arlington, Virginia, Arrington asked, "Mommy, why are they changing the name of the street and who is John M. Langston?" Arrington's curiosity triggered Nadia to search online for a book that could help explain what was happening, only to find no books on renaming and representation for children.
"I was not able to find a children’s book about the importance of representation, so Arrington and I decided to write one," said Nadia Conyers, co-author of From Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard. "Arrington and I stand on the shoulders of our ancestors who created what they could not find, and they paved the way for us to be able to write this book."
Nadia asked Arrington if she was interested in writing a book with her, and she jumped up and exclaimed, "Yes!" From the emphatic yes of a six-year-old, the idea to write "From Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard" was born.
Co-Authors Arrington Conyers and Nadia Conyers hope that "From Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard" will introduce children to activism and go a long way in building their minds and pride in their communities.
To purchase the book, please visit From Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard on Amazon
Formed in 1909, the NAACP is the United States’ oldest civil rights organization. They pride themselves on this fact, noting that leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson got their start with the organization. But more so, they are proud that in their 110 years of existence, they have continued to push forward racial justice reforms and legislation, working to create a more just and equitable United States.
As the video of George Floyd’s death surfaced and protesters took to the streets, many Americans have been asking how they can do more to support the black community. Spain’s suggestion? Become a member of and donate to your local NAACP. Not only does the funding help to support the organization’s work, but volunteering a few hours a week, or a month, helps to push forward legislation and pressure local and state officials. In short, it helps communities seek important change.
What can members of the Arlington NAACP Chapter expect to help influence? Currently, Spain and his team are working closely with the Chief of Police, County Board, Congressman Don Beyer, Senator Warner, and others to implement a new standard of policing in Arlington County where all members of law enforcement are required to wear body cameras. Although still working to set funding aside for these new regulations (a petition to help support this project can be found here), Spain is hoping to have them in place by January 2021. Additionally, the Chapter is working to set up a civilian review board - a group of community members who would evaluate arrests and investigations by police to encourage accountability.
While these are excellent ways to get engaged in racial justice as an adult, how can teenagers or children get involved?
Ultimately, Spain believes that to create change, the Arlington community must build a culture of inclusivity and diversity. Policies are an excellent start, but "we must work to enforce that culture, have zero tolerance for those who don’t live by those values, and join together to create the community we envision. If you really want to make a difference, come join us” says Spain. “Working together in unity is necessary to accomplish important work.”
For more information about Arlington’s NAACP Chapter, membership, and ways to get involved in racial justice, visit their website today.
As COVID-19 continues into mid-May, small businesses are adjusting their business plans and altering the way they serve their communities so that they can continue to stay afloat and work with customers. To get a better idea of how Lee Highway businesses are faring during this time, LHA’s Communications Manager has been in touch with local business owners and managers.
This past week, she discussed with Woof Gang Bakery’s Daniel In all things COVID-19 and pet related, as well as the best ways the Arlington community can support the business.
DI: Woof Gang Bakery is actually a franchise that is big in the southern states. My Aunt and Uncle owned a location in Chapel Hill NC and wanted to see if I was interested in opening up a location in Northern Virginia. After much discussion I decided to open up the current location.
MPH: What do you envision for the future of Woof Gang Bakery?
DI: I want Woof Gang Bakery Arlington to be the premier pet grooming business in the area. Our space is pretty small right now, but as business grows I would like to expand to a larger facility.
MPH: I’m going to pivot a bit to the current pandemic. As we all know, COVID-19 has had quite the impact on “normal” life and local businesses. How has WGB been impacted throughout all this?
DI: Interestingly enough, our business has actually remained relatively stable throughout this pandemic. We are considered an essential business and we have been open the entire time, but we did shorten our hours of operation to reduce exposure. Our grooming services have been booked up because now that everyone is working from home with their dogs all day, they want to get their puppies groomed. Our retail product sales have definitely taken a hit though. Customers want to spend less time in the shop browsing and just get in and out quickly. Overall sales are still down a bit, but I think that we can manage. We will have to focus on our grooming services more.
DI: Honestly, just shop local! We will always have great clients for our grooming, but our product sales are falling due to online shopping. If you like our services and our shop, please spread the word. Personal recommendations are the BEST advertising!
MPH: They really are. For those that want to come into the store, what kind of things do you have available for purchase?
DI: We have all sorts of products for your furry family members. We try to provide the highest quality products when it comes to food, treats, toys, pet care products, accessories, etc... I definitely recommend you come by and take a look at our treat table. We have a treat very large treat table that is covered in hand made and hand decorated dog treats and are made with human grade ingredients. You could try them if you really wanted, but I am not sure how good they would taste to us (laughs).
DI: I love interacting with our clients and all of the cute dogs that come through. We have so many regulars and you get to know them well. Also, I love being able to provide good employment for my employees.
MPH: You’re so lucky to be able to interact with so many cute pups!
DI: I really am.
MPH: Well, thanks so much for chatting with me Daniel! Best of luck.
DI: Thanks Maia, you too.
We are fortunate in Northern Virginia to have many sources of native plants. Two nurseries that offer and contact-free pick up are Nature By Design and Earth Sangha. Traditional commercial nurseries are selling more and more native plant (but don’t expect to find natives at big box stores).
Maia Potok-Holmes: Thank you so much for talking with me today, Matt.
Matthew Rowan: It's my pleasure!
MPH: So, let's get straight to it. How did you come to Dominion Electric?
MR: I have a design background. I’m an industrial designer by training. I've worked in architecture and interior firms as an internal specialist on a lot of the user experience stuff – like graphics, lighting, signage – all the stuff that was really high touch point items. I was working for Gensler, leading their studio in the DC office when Dominion’s CEO came to us and said “we need to re-envision, we need to do something totally different.” We came up with the overall approach and design scheme - we even had our consulting team come out and watch people work for a day. And then he offered me this job (laughs) which I wasn’t looking for – and I didn’t even realize he was offering me a job at first – I originally turned him down, because I loved working with my team, but he was persistent and brought me over. One of the first things he told me was “question and change everything.”
MPH: Why did Dominion want to conduct a total re-design and renovation?
MR: It's not just about selling things anymore. Now that we have the internet, people can immediately search anything, you can see all the products that you want; the problem is, lighting can be complex. And when you’re investing thousands of dollars in fixture you want to see it in person. So, there’s a huge place for showrooms, we just weren’t providing that experience. We wanted to become a trusted advisor rather than just selling things.
MPH: How did you approach that process? How are you incorporating those things into the showroom?
MR: Yes, in addition to re-doing the entire showroom, we’re undergoing a full rebrand. We’ve been talking about completely changing the vision and values of the company, we have a new logo and website [not yet released], new swag and business cards - and we’re starting to use the name “Dominion Light” for our residential business. It better describes the kind of work we do and speaks more to the high-end retail audience we’re looking for.
MPH: How do you see this renovation and rebranding as a part of the ongoing Plan Lee Highway project?
MR: As a designer, my passion and purpose is to continue improving and growing things. That’s an exciting aspect about this renovation - being a part of the growth and development of the Lee Highway community. If what we’re doing here can rub off and help someone a mile away, that’s great. The goal is to make things better for everyone that lives here.
MPH: Are there ways Dominion is hoping to engage with the greater Lee Highway community?
MR: Yes! We will be opening the space up to the community for events, meetings, etc. We want to deepen the roots Dominion has with the community.
MPH: Going back to the renovation quickly - can you talk about painting the exterior of the building? I know that was a big change.
MR: I was really worried at first about painting the exterior of the building, because I know change can be hard for a lot of people, but the response has been amazing. We receive calls from people in the neighborhood all the time asking about the paint color.
MPH: Can I ask what the paint color is, for those who want to know?
MR: (Laughs) Of course, it’s Benjamin Moore, Witching Hour.
MPH: It's been so great to chat with you, thanks so much Matt.
MR: My pleasure Maia. Come back soon.
achieve strategic goals. She also led a successful campaign to change high school start times, collaborating with parents, staff, students and community to overcome numerous challenges.
Furlow’s other professional experience includes analyzing and communicating issues, through positions in the White House, Capitol Hill, and state government; and leading and managing editorial staffs and communication for various non-profit organizations.
10/1/2019 2 Comments