For ASL services during workshops, please email by January 6th to ensure access.

(We will assume that all workshop participants are familiar with the Group Space Agreements and will do their best to abide by them.)

Click on a title to read the description and register.

— Session 1 (9:30am – 10:50am) —

Presenters: Shannon Butler (she/her), Hailey Cribbs (she/they), Alex Ruderman (they/them), Maya Hill (she/her)
Time: 9:30am - 10:50am
Primary Audience: Adults-Community
Format: Panel


Starbucks workers will be talking about their experiences organizing their workplace and what lessons they have learned thus far. This will be a conversation of how others can unionize their workplace and that it can come from just a few people who are dedicated to making that change.

Shannon Butler is a Starbucks barista and organizer at the Iowa and King location, and has participated in organizing since this summer. Shannon is also a Human Services major and sociology minor at Western Washington University which has given her a unique perspective on how to change social frameworks that no longer benefit people.

Hailey Cribbs is a barista and organizer at the Iowa and King location and started the whole unionization process in Bellingham.

Alex Ruderman is a longtime partner and new organizer at the Cordata Center Starbucks, the second location in Bellingham to file and win their union vote. Alex led the unionization process at this store and continually advocates for their coworkers and fights for their rights at the workplace.

Maya Hill is an organizer at the Cordata Center Starbucks location, she has taken a role leading direct actions for this store and fights for other crucial social change, such as the passing of Prop. 5 this past election cycle!


Presenters: Homero Garrido (he/him), Lelo Juarez (he/him), Liz Darrow (she/her), Luanda Hassan Arai (she/her)
Time: 9:30am -10:50am
Primary Audience: Adults-Community, Educators, Human Rights/Social Justice Professionals, Young Adults (14+)
Format: Panel


A panel of Immigration Advisory Board members as well as one or two staff people from the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs in Seattle will discuss the process over the past two and a half years to establish a city funded immigrant resource center and what has worked well in other cities.

The presentation relates to the theme: From Divine Dissatisfaction to Joyful Liberation because C2C has been organizing toward this moment for twenty years. We have worked directly with immigrant families and understand that what exists currently in the non-profit structure in Bellingham is not working to serve the needs of the community. We are divinely dissatisfied. But we also see through community organizing and solidarity that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that we will find joyful liberation for immigrant families and for the future of our community.

The presentation will include visuals from several different direct actions as well as a timeline of key developments in the campaign. In the end there will be a call to action and steps that those in attendance can take to help move this process closer to realization.

Homero Garrido: My name is Homero Jose Garrido, I am 48 years old. I live in Ferndale, WA. I was born in Mexico City and then my family moved to Oaxaca where I lived and attended school. I came to the US in 1995 and I attended auto repair school at Los Angeles Community College for two years. I have been working as a mechanic ever since. In 2005 I became a US citizen. Since that time I have participated in rallies to demand rights for immigrants, farm workers, women's rights and LGBTQ rights. Currently I am a member of the Immigration Advisory Board for the city of Bellingham. Our board is dedicated to advise the city on improving the lives of immigrants in our area.

Alfredo Lelo Juarez is a community organizer and farmworker who speaks three languages fluently. Currently Alfredo serves on the Immigration Advisory Board in the city of Bellingham and is a leader in the effort to establish a city funded Immigrant Resource Center.

Liz Darrow works with Community to Community Development on communications and legislative advocacy. Liz graduated from Fairhaven College with a degree in film, politics, and theater. Currently Liz serves on the Immigration Advisory Board to the City of Bellingham and is co-chair of the Lettered Streets Neighborhood Association. Liz is passionate about worker rights, immigrant rights, climate justice and moving toward an equitable food system. Liz’s family is central to who she is as a person, and she’s been proud to watch her two children grow up as active participants in movement spaces.

Luanda Hassan Arai was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, spent part of her childhood in London, and in 1997 moved to the Seattle area as a teenager. She finished high school in South King County and attended the University of Washington, the first in her family to graduate from college. She comes from a mixed-status family and has a lot of personal experience navigating the U.S. immigration system, including being undocumented, adjusting her status to legal permanent residency, and becoming a U.S. citizen.

Luanda's career spans the hospitality industry (including growing up working in her family's restaurants), housing, homelessness, workforce development, social enterprise, community and civic engagement, tech, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. In her free time, Luanda enjoys exploring cities, staying on top of the local dining scene, seeing live music, being an aunty, and bird watching. She is also proud to have served on the board of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project for six years.


Presenters: Suneeta Eisenberg (she/hers), Hanna McEachern (she/hers)
Time: 9:30am - 10:50am
Primary Audience: Adults-Community, Educators, Human Rights/Social Justice Professionals, Young Adults (14+)
Format: Interactive lecture (hybrid with small open discussion at end)


We will share a presentation of our project called the "Noisy Water Living and Learning Community Center" (NWLLCC) Whatcom's first COMM"UNITY" land trust.

This project aligns with Dr. King’s ideals in a few different ways. 1) Intersectionality of social, racial and climate justice. 2) A solution to both local and global issues ~that will affect people, most likely those that are already facing marginalized and discriminatory practices in our current system. 3)It honors his work and continues the path that Dr. King, and other activists (including my father's own story with ADA rights) on where to "go" when progress and democracy are at risk or fear is a barrier. The answer is always and will always be with love, creativity, people, energy and a little bit of everyone's time. This quote: "Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice" is exactly my WHY. I am dissatisfied with our current approaches. I want food justice, climate justice, racial justice, and social justice to be a tangible and real solution to our issues that will continue to get worse if we do not attempt something different. I'm fired up and ready to GO!

Our presentation will engage and inspire participants by taking action and being the first community members to have the full powerpoint (we've given an abridged version to a few "green" builders). They may also be engaged by joining our board, working on the budget for the senior center, or helping to bring more people to the table that would like a large district with inclusionary housing policies. They can listen, learn, ask questions, give feedback and feel empowered to build the future together with comm"UNITY" and love.

Suneeta Lara Eisenberg (she | hers) is 38 years young and lives within the unceded and traditional lands of the Lummi peoples. She is a life and wellness coach for former foster youth with the “College Success Foundation” as 1 of 2 passport coaches in WA state. She now works at 3 different colleges in our area: WCC, WWU and SVC.

Suni also is the Executive Director of Whatcom Waves, a women’s empowerment organization that seeks social, racial and climate justice through sport. She has played and coached basketball, tennis, track and soccer and enjoys dancing, hiking, biking and bowling. Some of her goals and aspirations include building a community center with community investment using sustainable methods and products. She hopes to continue living gently upon the earth, make connections with grounded humans, work with and on the lands to regenerate soil, and persist in practicing a life of service.  Hopefully, these attributes and way of living will inspire others to transition into an ecological society and forgive the system that we were brought up to believe was the best (aka capitalism).

Hanna McEachern was born and raised in Bellingham, WA and feels a deep connection to the history of the Salish sea. She attended university at WWU where she majored in Spanish with a focus on education, with the ultimate goal of going into teaching. Hanna will be starting her Master’s in Teaching at WWU this spring quarter. In the meantime, she is working in the Bellingham and Mount Baker school districts as a substitute paraeducator and teacher, helping her to learn about the presence of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our local communities, as well as teaching her more about her role in cultivating these qualities in future generations.


Presenters: Victoria Matey (she/her/ella)
Time: 9:30am -10:50am
Primary Audience: Adults-Community, Educators, Human Rights/Social Justice Professionals, Young Adults (14+)
Format: Lecture


Over the last four years I have been recording with Undocumented immigrants from all over the country. I created Shot of Truth Podcast in Bellingham, WA back in 2018--since then I have been asking people what their liberations look like.  Though their answers vary they are all rooted in the same values. This reminds me of a values exercise I've been doing for years--I hope to share with people the beauty of this work and move through this value exercise in hopes of understanding pieces of our own liberations and connecting them to others in joint struggle.

Joyful Liberation is something I've been searching for and asking people from across the country, what it looked like for them. I have learned how so often we find community and resilience even in our struggle to survive. Joyful liberation includes the things that make us happy outside of those struggles and barriers. How do we co-create a beloved Whatcom County: we welcome immigrants, we share their stories, we share our resources, we listen.

Interactive Values Exercise and sharing some of the work I've created over the last four years.

I have the privilege to travel abroad via Advanced Parole. I produced this episode with 6 other people doing the same thing. Returning home is part of our liberation.

Victoria Matey Mendoza (she/her) is a queer, undocumented digital creator based in Washington. She has been speaking for eight years on immigration topics and started Shot of Truth Podcast to connect with others and to heal through dialogue. Her vision is to re-imagine a society without borders and cages--by pushing for a collective shift in consciousness and connecting our joint struggles.


— Session 2 (11:00am – 12:20pm) —

Presenters: Rachelle Martin (She/her), Patricia (Patty) Estes (she/her), Kian Alden (he/him/his), Ryan Schmautz (he/him)
Time: 11:00 - 12:20
Primary Audience: Adults-Community, Human Rights/Social Justice Professionals
Format: Training, Open Discussion


Unions are the foundation to economic security. A group of union organizers will present slides and information about the process to unionize a workplace. We will also share best practices for building support in already unionized spaces.

People are more interested in unionization than ever. Our presenters are deeply passionate about supporting workers and our enthusiasm is contagious. The presentation will be open enough that participants will have space to talk about individual concerns and share questions.

Rachelle Martin is the treasurer for the Thurston Lewis Mason Central Labor Council and seeks all opportunities to support workers to collectively advocate for better conditions. Rachelle also serves as a Commissioner for Social Justice & Equity with the City of Olympia.

Patricia (Patty) Estes. I have been a Union Member since 2014, SEIU 1948, UFCW 367 and Teamsters 313. I started my union staff career as a member organizer after the Janus decision, knocking on doors signing school employees up for the union. I am now a Union Representative for UFCW 367 and former organizer for the same.

Kian Alden, Organizer, Teamsters Local 252. I am a recently recruited, full-time, organizer for the Teamsters at Local 252 in Centralia, WA. My background in labor is mostly in retail at Fred Meyer where I was a shop steward for many years, as well as work as a barista, farm worker, and at UPS. I’ve studied organizing at the Rosa Luxemburg Institute and have been able to put the theory into practice as an organizer with the Teamsters, and am excited to help more workers get involved in this essential process.

Ryan Schmautz is a shop steward and rank & file activist with AFSCME Council 28/WFSE Local 433 in the Tumwater/Thurston area of Thurston County, WA.  He currently works for the Department of Labor and Industries.


Presenters: Kamea Black (she/her)
Time: 11:00 - 12:20
Primary Audience: Adults-Community, Educators, Human Rights/Social Justice Professionals, Young Adults (14+)
Format: Training, part lecture, part break out discussion.


Food is everything. When in loving and joyful environments it nourishes and connects us to other people, place, and culture. Food is one of the most intimate and consistent relationships in our life. For many of us it is tender. Carrying with it a history of where we have been as well as what access to resources we have. Our diets tell a story. A story that takes place within the very same systems that Dr. King worked to change. And right now, in the first quarter of 2023, we have an opportunity to influence that system through the Whatcom County Food System plan.

This workshop will have three parts:

1) In the the first third of the workshop, I will do a training/talk that introduces three things:
-Personal food relationships
-Food literacy
-Food systems

2) Second we move into local food systems work and introduce the drafted food system plan as well as its proposed goals

3) I invite folks to break out into groups to sit with and workshop each goal. Then have folks share back out to the main group what stands out to them and any improvements they want to see. I will then conclude with how to stay in the loop and the importance of holding government accountable to these drafted plans. I will invite Whatcom Food Network leadership to aid in this facilitation, but I am not doing this workshop as an agent of the organization.

Participating in governmental process is divinely dissatisfying. However, we have a unique opportunity to lean in and co-create a food system plan that centers human rights and not just the interest of businesses.

Food is a central character in our lives. At times a weapon of oppression or personal harm, and at times a source of great love, joy and even seduction. Food and food justice was highlighted in many of Dr. King's speeches often as a way to invite the listener in and draw a visual of the experience of white supremacy.  The talk that is highlighted in this year’s conference theme is no exception. When he speaks of a black man's pangs of hunger and the anguish of thirst when denied access to a lunch counter, I see a person and the talk starts to come to life with humanity. I want to sit with this man and offer him a glass of water, but Dr. King instead reminds me of just how normalized it was to ignore this present thirst.

In his 1964 acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luther King Jr said, “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”

I hope to bring awareness to folks that these systems really do influence our diets. Even when eating alone we must recognize that it has come from a collective source, and this is in fact not an individual's problem. This information has made a radical difference in my life. My own relationship with food being a place where I have had an embodied experience of moving between the spaces of divine dissatisfaction and joyful liberation. So I hope the personal nature of it will inspire folks to reflect and feel moved to create more joy in their own food relationships.

In addition, engaging in these feedback processes is a great way for youth, and folks without local voting rights, to influence government. I hope that lands for someone and that we can create space within the workshop for some live civic engagement. I will be taking all collected notes to the food system committee.

Kamea Black is a home cooking tutor and coach. Writer, feminist podcaster, and your new unpretentious foodie friend. She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies focused on Women in Agriculture and Food Systems from Western Washington University. An avid tea drinker, gardener, and dedicated mom of two (dogs). Kamea advances food literacy through workshops and content that invite curiosity and connection to our food sources. Search Tasty Salty Real on Instagram and Substack to join an ongoing conversation about the pursuit of flavor and our relationship with food. For more:



This session will engage participants in an open and critical discussion on how we might co-create a beloved community in our K-12 schools by guiding our activism with Dr. King’s principles of social change. The workshop will be structured as follows:

Introduction of what factors oppose the existence of a beloved community (poverty, racism, and militarism)

An ice-breaker where participants will share a courageous moment from their lives with the idea that nonviolence is a courageous act

We will compare and contrast activism and push back around anti-racist education during the civil-rights era and today. We will then break out into two groups - those that self-identify as more privileged (with money, time, resources) and those that self-identify as less privileged. The former group will think about how to maximize their dissent by gaining empathy for the dissatisfaction that others experience, and how to use their time/money/energy to advocate for others. The latter group will discuss how to concentrate and proliferate their energy to be more effective advocates of change.

We will close the workshop by sharing and hearing from each group, and then have a guided discussion around what is a beloved community in our schools, and have people call out ideas on what actions we can take to move towards that ideal.

The workshop directly addresses this year’s theme by guiding participants to examine how we use our time and resources in our day to day lives right now, and how some of that energy could be redirected into becoming advocates for change in our schools where many students and families, especially BIPOC, are dissatisfied with the status quo.

The idea is to get participants to acknowledge and then empathize with the dissatisfactions that exist for others such that they are also dissatisfied, and as a consequence, inspired to take actions (redirecting the time, resources, energy and capacity they have) and become advocates for social change. The end goal being that our advocacy is guided by a more inclusive set of principles to affect positive change for the wider community within the school system, rather than a narrower focus limited to our own personal dissatisfactions.

We will also use Dr. King’s principles six steps for nonviolent social change as our guiding principles when calling people into this work as we ask them to think about the actions to take to co-create a beloved community in our schools. These principles include: information gathering, education, personal commitment, negotiation, direct action, and reconciliation.

The open discussion format for most of this presentation will automatically set the stage for an engaging and interactive workshop. While we do want participants to be critical of how they can redirect some of their time and energy towards social change for a larger group, we also will inspire participants to see themselves as agents of change in this work. We will build empathy and connections between those that self-identify as privileged and those that don’t by sharing our truths and authentic selves.

We also plan to create a document of actions people can take - curated by the ideas participants share at the end of the workshop - and share the link with all participants, and later Whatcom CARE will include it in our publicly shared online drive that can be linked in our future newsletters and discussions.

Keith Montoya (he/they) is a parent living in Bellingham WA. He is the program coordinator of Whatcom CARE. He wants to create change in the community. He advocates for young families through his primary work as co-director of Generations Forward.

Teizeen Mohamedali (she/her) is a Muslim-American, S. Asian and an immigrant. She grew up in multicultural settings in Kenya, Botswana and Egypt, and traveled to 20+ countries before immigrating to the US at the age of 16. She knows how powerful it can be when children can see themselves reflected in their schools, communities, and educational curriculum. She is the co-founder of Whatcom CARE, a parent of two elementary aged kids in Bellingham, and an environmental engineer by profession. She strives to be an intersectional advocate in the different spaces she occupies.


Presenters: Jenn Mason (She/Hers), Daija Heyward (She/They)
Time: 11:00 - 12:20
Primary Audience: Adults-Community, Educators, Human Rights/Social Justice Professionals, Young Adults (14+)
Format: Training


In discussions of sexual consent and healing, pleasure is often an afterthought. Mainstream narratives around sex have us believe that simply avoiding or recovering from harm is enough: a painfully low bar. This leaves many people–particularly young folks–without the tools to create truly safe sexual experiences and a bleak path to recovery for those who've experienced violations. By centering pleasure both in consent education and healing, we offer a more effective and empowering approach for all people.

Pleasure is a key piece of joyful liberation. Often seen and afforded as a privilege of the privileged, pleasure is an integral part of the human experience for all people. Racism, poverty, and despair are thefts of pleasure with deep roots in limiting how and where people can love, worship, relax, and play. Sex education, sexual assault prevention, and advocacy have often ignored pleasure, to the detriment of the people they serve. Pleasure is part of justice and must reach beyond the walls of "wealth and comfort".

This presentation is part lecture and part discussion. Lots of opportunities for people to participate and respond to discussion questions. There will also be many specific strategies people can take back to their communities, no matter what role they are in.

Jenn Mason (she/hers) is the owner and founder of WinkWink, an identity-inclusive, all-ages, "not creepy" sex shop and education space in Bellingham, WA. A certified sex coach and educator, Jenn works to help individuals and communities transform sexual shame and celebrate sexual expression. Prior to opening WinkWink, Jenn worked at Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County for a decade, overseeing the development and education program [take this part sentence, if you need more space!]

Since 2017, Jenn has also served as an elected member of the Bellingham Public Schools board of directors. She won her 2021 re-election campaign by a wide margin, while facing national backlash for her work. Often a target of right-wing media, Jenn's advocacy for sex education and queer youth has become an infamous feature on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Daily Mail, NY Post, and Breitbart.

Daija Heyward (she/they) has been at WinkWInk for almost a year now and manages outreach and education. Daija has a strong desire to help support folks (especially marginalized) to achieve sexual liberation and wellness. They believe that dismantling shame and fear surrounding sex education is incredibly powerful and that pleasure can be an act of resistance.

Daija is a WWU graduate and is planning on continuing their education with a masters in sexuality education and counseling. Prior to WinkWink they worked with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as serving as a community organizer and activist for the last few years.


— Lunch Break (12:30pm – 1:00pm) —

— Session 3 (1:00pm – 2:20pm) —

Presenters: Rebecca Quirke (She/Her)
Time: 1:00pm - 2:20pm
Primary Audience: Adults-Community, Educators, Human Rights/Social Justice Professionals
Format: Lecture


Housing is a human right. We will be discussing the unethical practice of hoarding and weaponizing of housing, bringing attention to the widespread mistreatment of renters in Whatcom, the lack of accountability for these practices and proposals for how to create seamless protocol for renters rights to be protected.

Rebecca Quirke is the founder of Tenants Revolt


Presenters: Gail Goulet (She / They), Shovia Muchirawehondo (She / Hers)
Time: 1:00pm - 2:20pm
Primary Audience: Adults-Community, Educators, Human Rights/Social Justice Professionals, Young Adults (14+)
Format: Open Discussion


This is a participatory session on belonging and inclusivity, which will include a short presentation on the work of Rev. Dr. King and john a. powell, director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, followed by breakout and sharing sessions.

“Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.” –Dr Martin Luther King Jr, “Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution”

Gail Goulet’s studies have centered on Adult Education and Social Justice (MEd and PhD). She teaches at Western Washington University in Health and Community Studies.

Shovia Muchirawehondo earned an MEd degree in Adult and Higher Education from WWU, where she focused her coursework on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is the chair of the Equity and Diversity committee for the League of Women Voters. As a community activist Shovia works patiently to explain racism and its implications to individuals and groups. In June 2022 she organized the first Whatcom Celebration of People of Color Day, has led the John Lewis Voting Rights Walk and many other community activities.  Shovia is delivering workshops in equity, diversity and the importance of building a sense of belonging for the staff and faculty of Whatcom Intergenerational High School.


Presenters: Maya Morales (she/they), others to be confirmed
Time: 1:00pm - 2:20pm
Primary Audience: Adults, Community, Adults, Human Rights/Social Justice Professionals
Format: lecture, group discussion


This session will be a mix of presentation and informal discussion. Together, we will explore the concepts of privacy, data privacy, (commercial) surveillance, current and emerging data-driven technologies, and our right(s) to privacy from a people's perspective.

Considering Data Privacy & Surveillance within an intersectional framework, we'll go over some next steps and priorities for people as the 2023 WA Legislative session kicks off, and what we can do to create more safety, wellness and justice for everyone in our beloved community by fighting for everyone's privacy, bodily autonomy, and the freedoms and liberties that create a strong people-centered democracy.

This is a huge topic, so we'll be gayly dipping our toes in the water together, and sharing plenty of resources for folks who can and want to make time to dig deeper.

Follow & DM us with questions you have or topics you want to explore by Friday, and we'll try to fit things in!

Instagram @wapeoplesprivacy

Twitter @wapeopleprivacy (no "s")

Maya Morales is a queer white & latinx/é organizer, artist, and educator. After lots of organizing in 2021 to pass Bellingham's face recognition and predictive policing software ban via ballot initiative, they jumped into state legislative data privacy and anti-surveillance organizing with a loose collective of privacy organizers and also joined the ACLU WA-convened Tech Equity Coalition.

Maya began founding WA People's Privacy in February of 2022, while doing deep work with fellow WA privacy organizers to help defeat bad privacy bills and a digital ID bill in WA State. After the WA Legislative session wrapped up, she attended the Ballot Initiative Strategy conference, built web/social media presence, and mobilized with local community groups and the national Poor People's Campaign. After resigning from CFW steering committee (formerly People First Bellingham), she collaborated on successful local and national privacy campaigns like Make DMs Safe & efforts to Stop ShotSpotter in Seattle; drove grassroots advocacy on federal privacy bills; drove public comment on Seattle PD's Surveillance tech, and built many new relationships with local and national organizers in and across movements.

In addition to plenty of work, organizing & life experience, Maya earned undergrad degrees in Feminist Studies and Art, and a master's degree in Teaching. Privacy is one of her love languages!


— Conference Closing (2:30pm – 4:30pm) —

Facilitators: Makenzie Graham (she/her), Shu Ling Zhao (She/her), Kat David (she/they), Maya Morales (she/they), Eve Smason-Marcus (they/them)

Time: 2:30pm - 4:30pm

A space for process and community. We will begin with somatic work to ground ourselves after a full day of learning and unlearning. Afterwards, we will move into breakout rooms for a deeper reflection on the conference. We all process information differently and we want to honor that with a variety of breakout rooms to process in. We will have a few discussion-based breakout rooms and a of couple art- and writing-based breakout rooms. We’ll come back together to set intentions and offer blessings for one another and the community, as we look forward to co-creating a Beloved Whatcom County.

JOIN THE CLOSING CIRCLE  (Registration is not required)