The title of the 2023 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. conference is “From Divine Dissatisfaction to Joyful Liberation: How Do We Co-create a Beloved Whatcom County?” This theme is taken from Dr. King’s sermon “Where Do We Go From Here?”, which he gave at the annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on August 16, 1967. Dr. King urges us to “go out with a divine dissatisfaction", and he goes on to say,“Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this."
The conference begins on Thursday, Jan. 12, with a poetry night from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The event will be on Zoom, with limited in-person seating.
On Friday, Jan. 13, the opening ceremony and keynote speaker will be by Zoom from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The emcee will be Dr. Sislena Ledbetter, Associate Vice President of Counseling, Health, and Wellbeing at Western Washington University and a LWVBWC board member.
Saturday will feature workshop sessions by Zoom. Registration
is required for the workshops. The closing ceremoney by Zoom is scheduled from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.
One of the afternoon workshops will be a participatary session on belonging and inclusivity, which includes a short presentation on the work of Rev. Dr. King and john a. powell, director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, with breakout and sharing sessions. The workshop will be led by Gail Goulet, who teaches at WWU in Health and Community Studies, and Shovia Muchirawehondo, who leads LWVBWC's Racial Equity/Healthy Democracy Issue Team. Shovia believes that if people have a sense of belonging to a community, they are more likely to vote.
For more information about this event, click here.
All activities are free.
Additional events celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. include a day of service, gratitude and community at WWU on Monday, Jan. 16. The day begins with a free community breakfast at 8:00am followed by activities and speakers. For a Zoom link and other information, click here.
The City of Bellingham, along with many community partners, are organizing work parties on Jan. 14 from 10am to 1pm. Click here
for more information.