Virginia Avniel Spatz, a native of Chicago, lives and writes in Washington, DC.
Her first hometown was once home to Kiikaapoi, Peoria, and other peoples; her childhood neighborhood was “Urban Renewed” out of existence. Her adopted city, on Anacostan/Nacotchtank land, was “Chocolate City” when she and her husband arrived. More than three decades later, little of what drew them to DC remains. This experience helped inform Rereading Exodus on the Anacostia: Some Lessons of Cross River Dialogue. (Print and ebook available through Lulu and locally in DC)
Spatz is the author of The Great Kite, a book for all ages; project manager for Charnice Milton Community Bookstore at We Act Radio; and host of We Act Radio’s “Community Thru Covid” now on mostly on hiatus. Previous work includes feature reports on Education Town Hall, Capital Community New “News, Views, and Pews,” and other publications.
She also maintains SayThisName (Marking DC Homicides; providing related resources) and produced several newsletters as a volunteer for Next Level Vision responses to gun violence.
Spatz is active in Jewish communities, advocating for cross-denominational understanding and cooperation. She helped coordinate the Washington Chapter of the AJC’s Women’s Interdenominational Leadership Dialogue and directed the local, cross-community Jewish Study Center for several years.
Spatz and her husband have two adult children, graduates of DCPS high schools and years of homeschooling, who make their homes elsewhere. Other passions include alternative education, including homeschooling, public libraries and independent booksellers, and an abiding interest in Deaf culture fueled in party by work and study at Gallaudet University.