Paul Williams

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Paul Williams

Firesouls are known for their tenacity, passion and dedication for innovation and improvements in their community. While those things are important to Paul K. Williams, he incorporates history with modernity in order to have the largest positive impact on his community.

As President of the Historical Congressional Cemetery, Paul’s Sacred Place is steeped in history and lore.

Paul has a passion for historical preservation. In addition to serving as the President of the Cemetery, Paul also runs a blog called the House History Man, which catalogues the different backgrounds of homes and buildings all over the nation’s capital. One of Paul’s main objectives in using the Cemetery as a sacred space is “to introduce our grounds and history to the community.”

The Historical Congressional Cemetery is located Southeast Washington D.C., directly butting up to the Anacostia River. This Sacred Place is incredibly serene and peaceful, with blooming cherry blossom trees in the spring, and a beautiful view of the Anacostia throughout all seasons. The Cemetery hosts different events each month for the surrounding community. Whether it’s an afternoon yoga class or a tour of the prominent LGBT individuals who lay at rest at the Cemetery, this Sacred Place is a hallowed ground which brings peace, serenity and newfound knowledge to the community.

Paul’s love for history transcends not only that of his Sacred Place, but the history of its visitors. Reading the comments that people leave behind in the notebooks at the Cemetery is incredibly rewarding and inspiring to Paul.

“People leave very heartfelt messages in the notebooks that they likely would not say out loud.”

While Paul places incredible emphasis on recognizing the history of his Sacred Place and those who visit it, his humility regarding his own role as a Firesoul is inspiring. Paul views his work as a Firesoul as “a facilitator that encourages people to contemplate and communicate, even anonymously.”

Through his own humility, selflessness and dedication, Paul serves as an example one who truly embodies the traits of a Firesoul.

Photo credit: Maureen Porto. 

My Sacred Place

Congressional Cemetery

Procurement of the trees and the landscape architecture design services was made possible by funding from the U.S. Forest Service and the TKF Foundation. Greenspaces for DC, as the managing organization for the groves, has committed $45,000 toward the $150,000 total cost of the Ward Six grove. Installation of the grove will be made possible by donations of Ward Six residents and businesses. 

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