Activism in action
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.
The world is not yet color-blind, meaning it’s still vitally important to pay close attention to the words and actions of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Almost 50 years after being assassinated, King’s messages of nonviolence, loving your fellow humans and speaking out about racial and civil injustices still apply. With Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the horizon, there are a number of ways you, too, can get involved in making positive change happen.
Prior to the national holiday, the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force will host its 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Conference from 9am-4pm Sat., Jan. 13 at Whatcom Community College’s Syre Student Center. With a focus of “50 Years of Freedom or 50 Years of Fear?” the free event asks “Where do we go from here?” That question will attempt to be answered via “A Collective Contribution” keynote address featuring a diversified group of non-white and mixed-race-identified women, as well as via skill-building workshops for children, youth and adults facilitated by community educators and activists. Information booths and complimentary refreshments will also be part of the day’s consciousness-raising activities. More info: http://www.whrtf.org
Begin Martin Luther King Jr. Day proper by bringing your kids to an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Read-In taking place from 10am-1pm Mon., Jan. 15 at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The event that has been taking place for more than a decade features students from Western Washington University volunteering their time to read stories about the Civil Rights movement, tolerance and diversity. More info: http://www.villagebooks.com
From there, you’ll still have time to attend the City of Bellingham’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration beginning at noon at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Local author and civil rights activist Clyde Ford will emcee the event he helped start more than a quarter-century ago, and Mayor Kelli Linville, Satpal Sidhu, and Trula Nicholas will get their turns at the mic. An opening blessing by Darrell Hillaire and music by the Kulshan Chorus and Meghan Yates & the Reverie Machine will also be part of the afternoon’s highlights. “Dr. King’s life speaks to us today and gives us strength to take on the powers of domination,” City Councilmember and event organizer Terry Bornemann says. “This year’s theme, ‘Together Against Hate,’ is an affirmation of radical hospitality and inclusion as we stand against forces that perpetuate injustice.” The event is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring donations for the Bellingham Food Bank. More info: http://www.cob.org
Finally, the Community Food Co-op will host its 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open Mic at the grocer’s Connections building at 405 E. Holly St. To commemorate the two-decade milestone, “Keeping the Dream Alive!” will also include musical guest Checo Tohomaso, as well as a “Healing Must Start with Actions” presentation by Whatcom Human Rights Task Force cofounder Vernon Damani Johnson. Closing out the evening, Kevin Murphy will once again host the open mic that asks community members to share poems, stories and songs focusing on diversity, human rights or related issues. All in all, Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud. More info: http://www.communityfood.coop
When voices are silenced
It’s the near future, and all women and girls across the United States are required to wear word counters that limit them to 100 words per day. For each word beyond 100, the irremovable “bracelets” deliver a series of electric shocks that increase in intensity from painful to…
A Home on the South Fork
After reading A Home on the South Fork: An Early History of Acme by Margaret A. Hellyer, it is easy to conjure the wild place this river valley once was: ancient cedar and fir trees growing tall in fertile soil; the south fork of the Nooksack River running thick with salmon, crossed by…
A year of Kingsolver
With trademark style, Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel, Unsheltered, tackles political and social justice issues through the story of two families inhabiting the same house, separated by more than a century, who find themselves terribly at odds with the changing world around them.