June 15, 2022

Jennifer Stephens, Community Engagement Manager
The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center
(206) 605-2411

Nominations Open for The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center 2022 Peace Builder Awards

The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center (WDRC) is pleased to announce that nominations are now open for WDRC’s 19th Annual Peace Builder Awards.

What: The WDRC seeks nominations for individuals or groups in Whatcom County that creatively resolved conflict, contributed to peaceful dispute resolution, promoted reconciliation between divergent individuals or groups, or otherwise promoted peace in the past year.

When: This year’s nomination deadline is 5 PM on Friday, July 15th.

How: Online at For questions or more information, contact

“I invite everyone in Whatcom County to help us recognize those community members who inspire collaboration, embody peace, and give hope to our community.” – WDRC Executive Director, Moonwater.

Over the last 18 years, more than 150 individuals and groups have received Peace Builder Awards for contributions to peace building in Whatcom County. In 2021, six Peace Builder Award recipients were honored, including:

Social Justice Award: Shu-Ling Zhao, Kristina Michele Martens, and Heather Flaherty, Racial Equity Commission
For the collaborative efforts to lay the foundation for a Racial Equity Commission, bringing the community together to seek common ground rooted in justice.

Youth Equity Award: Vamos Outdoors Project
For their efforts to link Latinx and ELL youth to one another and the outdoors, by increasing safe activities and providing spaces for students to learn, connect and be supported during the pandemic.

Health and Wellbeing Award: Jenny Lawrence and Nyla Thursday, Bellingham Public Schools COVID response
For their efforts to support the health and well-being of Bellingham schools, families and youth during the pandemic.

Empowerment Award: Monica Koller, Connecting Community
For efforts to build community through story-telling and collaboration with the library and local community members.

Environment Award: Jay Julius, Se'Si'Le & Red Road to D.C. Journey
For efforts to elevate the indigenous perspective and amplify the common ground we all share as a community, a nation, as an organization and through the recent Red Road to D.C. Journey Project.

Creative Conflict Resolution Award: Sandi Heinrich, Whatcom County Covid-19 Community Helpers
For efforts to connect people across our community to meet basic needs during the pandemic.

The winners will be announced in September, and this year’s recipients will be celebrated at the 19th Annual Peace Builder Awards Gala held in October. This event celebrates people putting the pieces together for creative conflict resolution in our neighborhoods, our schools and our community. Proceeds from the Gala benefit the WDRC’s mission to provide and promote constructive and collaborative approaches to conflict.

The WDRC is a non-profit dedicated to providing and promoting constructive and collaborative approaches to conflict. More information can be found at or by calling (360) 676-0122.

        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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