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Whatcom Racial Equity Commission extends application deadline

Whatcom County and the City of Bellingham offer more time for community members to submit applications for WREC

Community members walk into the Whatcom County Courthouse in downtown Bellingham, Wash. on Oct. 11, 2022. County residents are now being offered two extra weeks to submit applications to the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission. // Photo courtesy of Alexander “Bodi” Hallett, Sattva Photo

After hearing from community members who need more time to prepare applications, the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission is extending its application deadline to March 15.

The WREC seeks to fill 15 open positions, including seven open community member seats. Applicants must live in Whatcom County and meet the specific requirements of certain positions. Currently, over 30 applications have been received.

Community members can include students living in the county, immigrants, migrants, refugees, business owners and youth between the ages of 16 and 24. Open positions also include two spots for those engaged in diversity and inclusion work, one social justice advocate and one representative from a philanthropic organization, among others. More detailed information is available in the application, which can be found on the Chuckanut Health Foundation website.

The commission will center on advancing racial equity in Bellingham and Whatcom County and seek input from community members to hone in on the lived experiences of those impacted by racial issues.

In a press release on March 1, Whatcom County, the City of Bellingham and the Chuckanut Health Foundation invited “passionate” community members to join the commission. 

Applications will be reviewed by the WREC’s Appointment Committee before being passed on to County Executive Satpal Sidhu and Bellingham Mayor Kim Lund, who will recommend applicants to their respective councils.

“Our goal is to support applicant success, and we are rising to that call from the community for more time,” said Shu-Ling Zhao, community advancement director at the Chuckanut Health Foundation, in the press release. 

Applications can be submitted via email to or mailed to the Chuckanut Health Foundation at P.O. Box 5641, Bellingham, WA 98227. 

“We are confident that this process will result in seating the Commission with a spectacular group of dedicated individuals ready to support its first years,” Zhao said in the press release.

Further information on the WREC and its members can be found in the enabling ordinance, which was passed on Oct. 11, 2022.

Franny Vollert

Franny Vollert (she/her) is a city news reporter for The Front this quarter. She is a sophomore majoring in journalism with a news/editorial concentration. She enjoys reading, taking walks, and spending time with friends. You can reach her at

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