The theme of the 2020 Conference is Tomorrow is Today – The Fierce Urgency of NOW, which Dr. King referenced in two of his most influential speeches, “I Have a Dream” delivered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 26th, 1963 and “Beyond Viet Nam, A Time to Break Silence” at Harlem’s Riverside Church on April 4th, 1967, exactly one year before he was assassinated. His message remains as urgent today as it did over 50 years ago.

Now in its twenty-second year, the Conference provides a space for the community to come together and renew our commitment to the ideals that Dr. King held dear and believed deeply that this country could attain only by working together and acknowledging our shared history: ideals of equity, freedom, and self-determination. The Conference offers a rare opportunity for people of all ages and walks of life to share our stories, lift our voices to call out injustice, and take actions that will help make Dr. King’s ideals reality.

The day-long Conference will take place on Saturday, January 18th, 2020, 8:30 AM to 4 PM at Whatcom Community College. It will feature a participatory “People’s Keynote” designed to encourage conversation and build bridges, along with morning and afternoon workshop sessions. Social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists can receive six Continuing Education Units at no cost. Clock Hours will be available for educators.

Community resource tables and light refreshments will be available throughout the day. During the lunch break, there will be food vendors on site with lunch options for sale, as well as various opportunities for informal social interaction and individual creative expression. ASL interpreting will be provided. Please contact us to let us know your needs by Saturday, January 11th.

Thanks to the continued support of individuals, organizations, and businesses in Whatcom County, the Conference will be free and open to all, as it has been since its inception. Building a tradition, the Conference will be followed in the evening by the the Second Annual Unity Ball!

Sponsors of the 2020 Conference include the Community Food Co-op, National Association of Social Workers Washington Chapter, Western Washington University, Veterans for Peace Cpl Santos Memorial Chapter 111, and Chuckanut Health Foundation. Those wishing to help support the success of the 2020 Conference may make a donation. We couldn’t do it without you!


The 2020 Conference Planning Committee of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force