Martin Luther King Jr. Day events offer opportunities to serve, commemorate and act

A day to participate, advocate, educate and activate as a community

January 05, 2023 - by Janice Keller, Communications Director

Honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by joining in events coordinated by the City and various regional partners. Opportunities include a Day of Service volunteer work party on January 14 and a special event at WWU on January 16 that includes a kickoff breakfast and commemoration featuring keynote speaker LaTosha Brown.

January 16 “Now is the Time” breakfast and commemoration

WWU, along with regional partners including the City of Bellingham, will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a “day on” for service, gratitude and community on Monday, January 16, 2023, from 8 – 11:30 a.m.

This special event is designed to promote opportunities to pursue change, further participation in the fight for basic human rights, and amplify systemically marginalized voices, emphasizing radical change and community action.

All are welcome to join this hybrid event highlighting local community advocacy alongside LaTosha Brown, an award-winning organizer, philanthropic consultant, political strategist and jazz singer. Ms. Brown co-founded the Black Voters Matter Fund, is the principal of TruthSpeaks Consulting Inc., and is the founding project director of Grantmakers for Southern Progress. 

This event will also include comments from Jason McGill, CEO of Northwest Youth Services, and representatives of the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission. The schedule of events for January 16 also includes opportunities to support Black-owned businesses tabling at the event and various service opportunities, which are listed at

While participants are encouraged to attend the January 16 events in person, a livestream will be available for those unable to do so. Those who wish to join in the breakfast portion of the event are encouraged to RSVP.

For more information about the January 16 events and to RSVP for breakfast, please see

January 14 Day of Service Work Party

Join the City of Bellingham, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) and many other community partners for a volunteer work party in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, a federal holiday encouraging Americans to take an active role in improving their communities. The work party will take place on Saturday, January 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Little Squalicum Park.

Volunteers will restore habitat and improve water quality by planting native plants and removing invasive plants in and around the new Little Squalicum Estuary, an important shoreline habitat that the City began constructing in 2022 as a place for young salmon to grow before migrating to the ocean. The project is currently under construction and expected to be complete in spring 2023. This work party is a unique opportunity for the community to directly contribute to the project’s construction.

Tools, gloves, snacks and free Tony’s Coffee will be provided. The event will conclude with closing remarks and free pizza donated by Papa John’s. Various habitat restoration groups will have educational booths and City staff will provide information about the estuary project during the event.

Stewardship of local natural resources and parks improves equitable access to clean air, water and recreation, helping Bellingham move closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community. To further support the community, this event is partnering with the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters to accept donations for this organization’s work. Birchwood Food Desert Fighters works to promote greater food access and a sense of community through weekly events, a network of food share boxes, food delivery, community farming, advocacy, and more. Event participants are encouraged to bring shelf-stable milk and proteins, unopened toiletries, and laundry detergent to the work party to support the Fighters’ work. 

All ages and abilities are welcome at this event. Please email or call (360) 778-7105 to request an accommodation or language interpretation. Space at the event is limited and registration is required.

To learn more and register for the January 14 event, visit

Media Contact

Janice Keller, Communications Director or (360) 778-8100

More City News >>

Subscribe to City News