Bellingham and Whatcom County officials are hosting a listening series on race and justice, an opportunity for community members to share their experiences and their ideas for how leaders can make meaningful, effective changes.
Four sessions are scheduled for
- 7:00-9:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 28 (Video of July 28 session available on YouTube)
- 6:00-8:00 p.m., Monday, August 10 (Video of August 10 session available on YouTube)
- 11:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m., Saturday, August 15 (Video of August 15 session available on YouTube)
- 5:00-7:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 18 (Video of August 18 session available on YouTube)
All sessions will be held via Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions on in-person meetings. All sessions are open to the public, with options to log in via computer or smartphone or dial in via a telephone number. All meetings will be aired live on BTV and the City’s YouTube channel.
Simultaneous ASL interpretation provided for each meeting. Spanish and Punjabi interpretation available for those who wish to speak.
How to participate
Comment via Zoom
Anyone wishing to speak at any of the scheduled meetings may do so by joining at the following links:
|DATE ||URL TO REGISTER||MEETING ID||PASSWORD|
|July 28||www.cob.org/listen0728 ||958 0522 4763 ||123|
|August 10||www.cob.org/listen0810||997 6322 7294||123|
|August 15||www.cob.org/listen0815||962 2738 1401||123|
|August 18||www.cob.org/listen0818||977 0880 4687||123|
These links can be used before each meeting to pre-register or used during each meeting to register and immediately join the meeting. Full name not required for registration; you may use any identifier you wish. We only need a way to call upon you when it is your turn.
Comment or listen by telephone
Those who would like to comment or listen in by phone can do so using any of the following phone numbers:
- (253) 215-8782
- (346) 248-7799
- (669) 900-6833
- (301) 715-8592
- (312) 626-6799
- (929) 205-6099
|DATE ||MEETING ID||PASSWORD|
|July 28||958 0522 4763 ||123|
|August 10||997 6322 7294||123|
|August 15||962 2738 1401||123|
|August 18||977 0880 4687||123|
Watch or listen only
People without access to technology may participate at remote stations, equipped with technology to access the meetings and hosted by volunteers with social distancing in place, at the following locations:
YWCA Ballroom (August 15 & 18 sessions)
Lighthouse Mission Base Camp (August 15 & 18 sessions)
Firehouse Cafe Patio (August 18 session)
Holly Street Pedestrian Plaza (August 15 & 18 sessions)
Maritime Heritage Park (August 15 & 18 sessions)
Squalicum Creek Park (August 15 & 18 sessions)
Purpose of the listening series
“We intend this to be the beginning step in a continuum that includes joining communities nationwide in doing the hard work of identifying how we dismantle structural racism in our organizations and our community,” Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood, who helped initiate the series, said.
He said the purpose of the series is to provide the public with opportunities to share while following COVID-19 restrictions, to inform commitments to effective change, to create a public, historic record of people’s ideas and experiences, and to elevate the importance of these issues and ensure accountability for addressing them.
The series is sponsored by the City of Bellingham, Whatcom County, Lummi Nation and Western Washington University. While the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Bellingham Police Department were originally listed as event sponsors, they are not participating formally in the virtual meeting space by request from and out of respect for community members.
Mayor Fleetwood said government agency sponsors would like most to hear from people of color about their experiences with racial inequities and injustice in our community.
“We wish to hear from our neighbors whose lives have an element of fear and anxiety simply because of the color of their skin,” he said. “We are committed to listening, promoting awareness, facilitating dialogue, and taking actions that make the safety, dignity and humanity of all people our priority.”
Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu said community leaders are receiving many requests for action.
“We intend this listening series to be the first step in a process of understanding our community’s experiences with racism and injustice and taking steps to effectively address these issues,” he said. “It is the beginning of a dialogue that will result in necessary changes.”
Mayor Fleetwood has offered further clarification about organizations involved with the series. “In the haste and pressure that I perceived relating to announcing the listening series, I represented, based on my misunderstanding, that a couple groups had joined as ‘community partners’ and it was clarified, thereafter, that they had not joined as ‘community partners.’ I apologize for this. Despite the misstep, it has provided, not only even greater insight into the complexity of this work, but also underscored our ongoing commitment to the work itself and the need to work collaboratively and inclusively with the individuals and organizations who seek positive change.”