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Joining the MLK gathering at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Instead of hosting worship this week, Echoes will be joining the larger Bellingham community at an event honoring the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.

We expect it will fill up rather quickly, so if you can come a bit early in order to sit together, that would be great.

The event description:

In honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Community Food Co-op hosts Keeping the Dream Alive! On this evening, we celebrate Dr. King’s notion of a “Beloved Community,” with ceremony, song, presentations, and community sharing. King envisioned the Beloved Community as a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings.

As this annual event continues to evolve, we are excited to move to Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship to better accommodate presenters, musical performances, informational tabling, and increased attendance.

As always, we invite the community to share a poem, story, or song focused on diversity, human rights, or related issues. Please limit your presentation to three minutes or less, to leave time for others to share. Contact to sign up.

We are extremely grateful for all of the talented and inspirational people participating in this year’s event.

Host Amanda Grelock
Amanda is the Co-op’s Equity Diversity and Inclusion coordinator, a position designed to assist and enable the Co-op to make healthy food accessible to all and to create a more inclusive community hub. Her passions include waging peace through a combination of creative thinking, community building, conversation, social justice standing, and more.

Opening Song – Joshua Olsen
Joshua is from the Nooksack Nation and works at the Co-op bakery. We are fortunate to have Joshua share the Nooksack Honor Song with us tonight.

Welcoming Presentation – William L John (Xwelwelat’se)
William is a Lummi Elder, storyteller, and retired Lummi language teacher from Ferndale High School and Northwest Indian College. He will share a cross-cultural experience welcoming all to the territory of the Coast Salish people.

Special Musical Guest – Checo Tohomaso
Checo Tohomaso has previously toured with Motown legend Marvin Gaye playing keyboards, percussion, and singing background vocals. He has performed with Lionel Richie and the Commodores, Celine Dion, New Kids on the Block, and Reba McEntire, among others. Checo keeps busy as the musical director of the Vancouver Outreach Community Sweet Soul Gospel Choir and the Victoria Soul Gospel Choir. He is spirited, authentic, and true to the music as he pursues his talents. His current focus is to communicate the positive, healing qualities of soul music to as many people as possible. Checo has a goal of uniting people of different cultures and beliefs to deliver a message of love, joy, peace, hope and healing through singing. Checo selected four well-known songs to sing with audience participation —Everyday People, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, People Get Ready, and Love Train. We are extremely grateful for his contribution to the progression of this event.

Keynote Presentation – Terrance Morris
Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go from Well-Meaning to Well-Doing by Terrance Morris, diversity advocate, founder of A Connection, co-facilitator of Black Lives Matter Bellingham, and Whatcom Human Rights Task Force Board director. Terrance is passionate about leading conversations about diversity and inclusion. You can see his work in action with the Bellingham Juneteenth event and the Unity Ball on January 19. He brings community together by diving into hard conversations and willingness to lean in.

Open Mic Community Sharing
Share a poem, story, or song focused on diversity, human rights, or related issues. We look forward to continuing this traditional part of the evening. Presentations limited to three minutes or less, to leave time for others to share. Contact to sign up.

Other participants – Edgar Franks, Civic Engagement Program Coordinator at Community to Community Development; Christelle Fotsing, Black History Month Celebration Coordinator; Peter Ali, Native American flute; The 60-voice Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Chalice Choir; and Peace and Justice community information tables.

The Community Food Co-op would like to thank event co-sponsor, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship’s Social & Environmental Justice Committee.

Later Event: January 28
Echoes at the Biergarten