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League of Women Voters Celebrates Community Diversity

Published on 6/17/2022
Whatcom County diversity was celebrated at the Depot Market Square on Sunday, June 12th.  Organized by the Racial Equity/Healthy Democracy (RE/HD) issue team of the LWV Bellingham/Whatcom County, it was a wonderful afternoon of community building. There were numerous opportunities to explore and learn about customs and culture of members of some of our BIPOC residents of Whatcom County. 

Allison wrote to us afterwards:  “Today we took our kids down to the Day of Uplifting event at the Farmer's Market Depot.  Thank you so much for putting this event on.  As a 5th generation Chinese American, it was a great opportunity to expose our children to more than mainstream western culture and connect to others within the community.  My child loved the experience of dancing with Rhythms of India and learning the steps of Bhangra.  We hope that this event happens again as this is a great community event to connect and learn.”  

RE/HD chair Shovia Muchirawehondo was the event emcee and shared the motivation for the event's focus on diversity: The RE/HD group has been focused on internal learning about racial equity and racial disparities in civic engagement and democratic representation. This was a chance to expand opportunities for learning and relationship-building to the wider community. 

Muchirawehondo shared that “a healthy society recognizes everyone’s value. We must evolve from having marginalized groups within our community and start practicing inclusivity, which cultivates equity and promotes equality. We must learn to stand together and not behind one another. Colonization is out of style.”

Many thanks to all who shared music, dance, and food including Rhythms of India, 4-H Para Familias Latinas, the Silk Road Performers, and Ambo Ethiopian Cuisine. Other activities included henna painting, origami, and haiku as well as learning opportunities from The Arc of Whatcom County, books on race and equity from the Bellingham Public Library, Engage Bellingham’s urban forestry project, and Japanese American Nikkei Northwest. Sislena Ledbetter closed out the event by leading everyone in the Electric Slide!

To learn more about the work of the RE/HD issue group or to join their monthly meetings, see the LWV website here.