September 10, 2021

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

Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center Announces the 2021 Peace Builder Award Recipients

The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center’s (WDRC) Peace Builder Awards has returned, and the WDRC invites the community to join in honoring six remarkable individuals, projects and organizations who have helped build peace in Whatcom County during this extremely challenging past year. Each of the award winners represent unique and important efforts to build trust, promote healing for the community and environment, resolve conflicts and contribute to a more peaceful world. The 2021 Peace Builder Award winners will be recognized at the 18th Annual Peace Builder Awards Virtual Gala, presented by Peoples Bank and PSE, on October 22.

The recipients of the 2021 Peace Builder Awards:

Social Justice Award: Shu-Ling Zhao, Kristina Martens, and Heather Flaherty, Racial Equity Commission Formation. 

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 free Peace Builder Awards Virtual Gala will include features of the award-winners, the youth poetry contest winners and a silent auction. Visit for additional information.

        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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