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  • 16th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Conference

    "Uniting for Human Rights and Environmental Justice" is the theme of the 16th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Conference hosted by Whatcom Community College, the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force (WHRTF) and the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center. The conference will be 10 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at Whatcom's Syre Student Center.   Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The event is free and open to all community members, students and educators.

    Keynote speaker Jerimiah "Jay" Julius of the Lummi Nation is secretary of the Lummi Nation Governing Council, a fisherman, crabber, successful businessman, and father of four. He is descended from tribesmen who have fished the waters off Xwe'chi'eXen for centuries. He was recently featured in a KCTS documentary and a related PBS News Hour piece about the proposed Northwest coal terminals. Councilman Julius is speaking to multiple groups on the need to protect the sacred lands and waters of Xwe'chi'eXen and the San Juan Islands, the aboriginal territory of the Lummi Indians.

    The conference theme was chosen to emphasize the importance of local participation in problem solving and civic and educational processes. Following the keynote presentation, participants may choose from morning and afternoon workshops covering a range of social justice issues and engagement tools. Organizers hope educators will attend to gain insights into classroom curriculum. Clock hours are available.

    For more information, contact the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force at whatcomhrtf@gmail.com or visit www.whrtf.org.

    Conference partners include Western Washington University's Woodring College of Education, Huxley College of the Environment, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the Western Washington University Ethnic Student Center; Great Harvest Bread Company; Avenue Bread; Community Food Co-op; and Village Books.