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An Enthusiastic Day of Uplifting BIPOC Communities

On June 2nd the Racial Equity/Healthy Democracy Issue Team held its third annual Day of Uplifting the BIPOC Communities of Whatcom County. Over 85 people attended despite the rain and wind! We set up inside the Depot Market Square with 9 organizations and 3 vendors participating. The League was well represented by the Civics and Climate teams and the stalwart voter registration team. Sheriff Tanksley and Police Chief Rebecca Mertzig spoke of their commitment to just policing. BIPOC members of Bellingham and Whatcom County gave a number of thoughtful speeches. 

Interspersed with the talks were performances by Jianna Zhang and Hi Nao from the Bellingham Chinese Arts School. We also were able to hear some of the creations of Godly Productions which is the production company started by two of league member Shovia Muchivawehondo’s amazing sons.  Khemistry, a local Black poet, shared a powerful poem she had written for this occasion. Later, one of the young women at the Community 2 Community organization told me she wished she could get transcripts of the speeches and poems!

All of the organizations and vendors that attended had positive comments. This event gave us a chance to reach out to these mostly younger activists who are doing important work in our area. I enjoyed getting to know about their work.

Organizations at the event:

  • VAMOS – who work to get Hispanic youth outside to bike, climb and hike.
  • Community 2 Community - “Building Community Power in Whatcom and Skagit Counties for 20 years”.
  • Bellingham Public Library – who brought a wide array of books featuring BIPOC authors and subjects.  Jenni Johnson told me they signed up a number of people for library cards as well as checked out a number of books.
  • Moms Rising – Working to make child care available and affordable.
  • Northwest Indian College – They brought lots of great information about their programs and their work with Indigenous students from many tribes.
  • Whatcom CARE – A resource for teachers and families for anti-racist materials and trainings.
  • Whatcom Intergenerational High School – A nonprofit "Weaving Communities Together Through Learning".
  • WCC Japanese Club – Sharing their artistic talents.
  • Nikkei Northwest – Sharing the history of Japanese Americans and their culture.
—Carol. J. Smith