black excellence celebration~Honoring our roots
Checo Tohomaso, Music Master
The son of an African-American Christian mother and Peruvian/African-American Jewish father, Checo grew up surrounded by different styles of ethnic music. He has entertained with many notable performers throughout his career, including Marvin Gaye, the Commodores, and Lionel Ritchie. When asked how his passion for Gospel music began, Checo points out “ninety percent of American Soul, R&B, and Jazz singers have their musical foundation singing Gospel music in the church and I was heavily influenced by those artists at a very early age.” Checo’s current focus is to communicate the positive, healing qualities of soul music to as many people as possible.
Kristina Michele Martens
Kristina is a dynamic member of the community, working to facilitate local conversations and improve access to news and information for residents of the Bellingham area. Kristina arrived in Bellingham in September 2015 and found her niche on local stages. She created “Bellingham Idol,” a singing competition held at Rumors Cabaret in 2018. The following year she co-hosted the live talk sow “Bellingham Tonight.” In the summer of 2020, Kristina began working to develop the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission. As the first Black woman to ever serve on Bellingham City Council, Kristina is honored to have the opportunity to bring a new voice and different perspective to the conversations of how to better our community.
Deauna Dee Dee Davis
A long-time resident of Whatcom County, Dee Dee is committed to building community and bridging differences. She currently serves on the board of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force and is a member of the Bellingham Unity Committee, which hosts the annual Juneteenth Celebrations and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Ball. Dee Dee has a strong commitment to working with members of the community who are experiencing homelessness, as expressed through her current position as a staff member at Gardenview Tiny Home Village, as well as her volunteer work at other local nonprofit organizations.
Terrance Teejay Morris
Terrance has spent his entire career serving the community. His leadership started as a Youth Community Facilitator with the Rainbow Push Coalition under the leadership of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. In 2012, he moved to St. Louis, MO to work with at-risk homeless youth. After the death of Michael Brown, he and his partner decided to move to Bellingham, where he continues his work in racial equity, diversity and inclusion, with a focus on housing. He is the founder of Bellingham Unity Committee, which hosts many community events including Ascendants of the Movement Black History Month Celebration, Bellingham Juneteenth, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Ball.