We invite you to participate in the 25th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Conference on Saturday, January 14th, 2023.  Like last year’s conference, workshops will take place online via Zoom.  We would love to feature new voices and diverse perspectives with a range of presentation formats including performance art, films, and caucuses, in addition to standard workshop fare.

The title of the 2023 conference is “From Divine Dissatisfaction to Joyful Liberation: How Do We Co-create a Beloved Whatcom County?”  This theme is taken from Dr. King’s sermon “Where Do We Go From Here?”, which he gave at the annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on August 16, 1967.  Dr. King urges us to “go out with a divine dissatisfaction.” He continues, 

Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds. 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. Let us be dissatisfied until those who live on the outskirts of hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security. Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history, and every family will live in a decent, sanitary home.

With the wealth gap ever widening nationally and here at home, we see more of our neighbors struggling to access affordable housing, healthcare, food and basic living supplies, or have the privilege to rest, celebrate, create, and heal – with Black and Indigenous people facing more barriers than their white counterparts. Let us be dissatisfied with where we are now and commit to co-creating a Beloved Whatcom County, until “from every city hall, justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

If you are interested in being a presenter at the 2023 Conference, please complete the google form. This year we’re prioritizing sessions that:
   ⧫ include new and diverse voices;
   ⧫ challenge participants to take what they learn into the community;
   ⧫ inspire attendees to reflect on our local social change ecosystem and their role in it;
   ⧫ hold space for thoughtful, intentional, candid conversations;
   ⧫ use nontraditional learning formats that offer creative mechanisms for engagement;
   ⧫ provide attendees with applicable skills to movement build or engage in direct action.

Contribute your proposal online here.

We encourage you to share this link with your colleagues in Social Justice as well.  The deadline for submission is Monday, December 12th, 2022.  We plan to post the full program schedule by December 30th.

Please email us at whatcomhrtf@gmail.com if you would like more information.

In Community,

The 2023 Conference planning team
Eve, Shu, Terrance, DeeDee, Anne, Maya, Jordan, Geneva