Faith Wheeler interview part 1, 2021-10-30
Scope and Contents
Mapping Segregation in Washington DC: School and Neighborhood Desegregation in Ward 4 documents the transformation of Ward 4 neighborhoods and schools during the 1950s and early 1960s. Ward 4 was predominantly white in the early 1940s, but saw a shift in demographics as white families fled after the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bolling v. Sharpe, in which public school segregation was deemed unconstitutional in the District of Columbia. This project primarily consists of interviews with longtime or former Ward 4 residents.
- Creation: 2021-10-30
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
The external hard drive DIG_BACKUP is for staff use only and contains preservation copies of this collection. This external hard drive is not publically accessible. Please see the digital collection in Dig DC for access to this collection.
Biographical / Historical
Faith Wheeler was born in 1941 in Massachusetts. She attended Wilmington College in Ohio, and in her last semester, participated in American University’s Washington Semester Program. She then lived in Costa Rica, DC, and Kansas over the next eight years, and moved to DC full-time in 1970. Beginning with a job as a translator, she spent the next 30 years working for the Inter-American Development Bank. She lived in Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Glover Park, and Adams Morgan again before moving to her current address in 1978 with her husband and baby. In Takoma, she became involved with various civic organizations, including Neighbors, Inc., and eventually became an ANC Commissioner. She also helped organize the annual Takoma Park Folk Festival and worked with other groups that served both the DC and Maryland sides of Takoma Park.
From the Collection: 6.25 Gigabytes
From the Collection: 50 Files
In this interview, Faith Wheeler discusses how she came to live in DC and what attracted her to Takoma – specifically that it was a mostly Black, integrated, and friendly community where the neighbors looked out for one another. She talks about some of her longtime neighbors and the work of Neighbors, Inc., which she became involved with. She discusses her daughter’s schooling and the decision to send her to Sidwell Friends rather than Takoma Elementary School. She comments on her daughter’s African American friends having moved to Prince George’s County as adults. She discusses her role as ANC Commissioner in bridging conflicts over the use of a public park, and all of the people she got to know through her civic work, for example via a cross-jurisdictional group called Safe Takoma. She describes a very successful street festival that helped bring together people who had been the subject of complaints about loitering in the park with homeowner residents and business owners.