four students

The 17th annual Peace Builder Awards, organized by the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center (WDRC), honored a diverse group of peace builders from around our community in a variety of categories. Awardees included Latinx community health workers, the Paddle to Lummi tribal canoe journey organizers as well as Bellingham Public Schools students and staff who were recognized for their collaboration and poetry.

The Whatcom Youth Pride Coalition received the Collaboration Award for bringing the community together to support and celebrate LGBTQ+ youth at the 2019 Youth Pride week. The coalition is a collaboration between Bellingham Public Schools and Northwest Youth Services and includes Bethany Barrett, assistant principal at Sehome High School, Michael Kopf and Michelle Goldman, both paraeducators and BEATS paraeducators at Shuksan Middle School, Liz Isaly, special education teacher at Bellingham High School, Amy Brewster, Student Success Coordinator at Sehome High School, Emily Carey, art teacher at Kulshan and Fairhaven Middle Schools, Viv Tobosa, 4th grader at Birchwood Elementary School, Holly Tobosa (Viv’s mom), Kerri Clary, Ferndale High School teacher and Bellingham Public Schools parent, and Page and Rowan Salton, coordinators for the Queer Youth Project through Northwest Youth Services.

The 2019 winners of the WDRC Youth Peace Poetry Contest included the following students:

  • Margaux Barber, Sunnyland Elementary School, for the poem “Different”
  • Annie Nelson, Bellingham Family Partnership Program, for the poem “The Sacred Sea”
  • Bryn Bergman, Whatcom Middle School, for the poem “The Opposite of Peace”
  • Nico Centurion, Sehome High School, for the poem “Hands”

Each youth poet read their poem at the Peace Builder Awards in front of an audience of 300. The poems were published in the Chuckanut Reader, a publication of Village Books, and are on display in the reading gallery at Village Books in Fairhaven and the poems are also online:

Congratulations, Peace Builders and poets!

View a video of the Whatcom Youth Pride Coalition and other Peace Builder awards here:

Read more about the 2019 Youth Pride Week here:

Photos courtesy of Kathryn Moran Photography and the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center where noted. 

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