FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 6, 2024

MEDIA CONTACT:
WREC@ChuckanutHealthFoundation.org
360-671-3349

Whatcom County & City of Bellingham Seek Applicants for the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission

The Whatcom County Council, County Executive, Mayor of Bellingham, and Bellingham City Council are now seeking the inaugural slate of members for the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission (WREC), with the support of Chuckanut Health Foundation and the guidance of community members serving on the WREC Appointment Committee. The Whatcom Racial Equity Commission, when seated, will serve as a county- and city-level advisory body building the bridge between community members with lived experience and local government as partners ensuring that every one of our neighbors can thrive.

Applications are due February 29th, 2024 at 11:59pm (PST).

The application link is here and includes a list of all available positions on the WREC. Applicants must live in Whatcom County and meet the specific requirements of the positions.

Applications can be submitted via email to WREC@ChuckanutHealthFoundation.org or mail to the Chuckanut Health Foundation offices P.O. Box 5641, Bellingham, WA 98227. We recognize there may be barriers to completing a written application. Please contact the Foundation Staff for assistance in identifying alternatives. Applications will be reviewed initially by the group of community members seated on the WREC’s Appointment Committee before member recommendations will be made by both the County Executive and the Mayor of Bellingham to their respective Councils.

Rooted in the Guiding Principles for the Commission, established in Whatcom County Code 2.107.030, members will collaborate with community members, local government, and sector partners to fulfill the purpose of the Commission: As a conduit for ongoing community collaboration, engagement, and education, within the broader context of diversity and inclusion, the purpose of the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission is to gather, review, and evaluate data and to make recommendations on eliminating racial inequities, in all its forms, throughout Whatcom County. (WCC 2.107.020)

The first slate of members will play an additional, crucial role in the “start-up” phase of the Commission. They will create the foundation and set the precedent for how the Commission:

• Operates as a group and in collaboration with other entities,

• Makes its decisions,

• Elects its leadership,

• Determines initial direction and engagement the Commission will work toward to meet its public charge.                               

For those interested in and dedicated to setting the strategic vision for the WREC, this is one of the best times to apply for membership.                   

Currently, fifteen out of the nineteen Appointed Member roles are open for community members to apply and are listed in the full application. Please note, currently, the positions for subject matter experts/people with expertise in the Commission’s areas of concern are not open. These positions shall remain vacant until the seated Commission is able to determine its areas of concern. Dedicated and driven individuals looking to make a significant impact at the local level are encouraged to apply for an open position on the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission.                   

For more information and questions about the process or for technical support in completing the application to join the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission, please contact our team at WREC@ChuckanutHealthFoundation.org and 360-671-3349.


        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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