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Recognized by the United Nations since 1982 and the City of Bellingham since 2010, International Day of Peace is a day to envision what the world can look like without weapons, without violence, and without oppression.

In solidarity with people around the world, the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center (WPJC) will host Rad & Real: Turning Imagination into Action, Bellingham’s 18th annual International Day of Peace celebration, happening in-person (following COVID safety protocols) on Sunday, Sept. 19 at Maritime Heritage Park.

The celebration will be followed by a virtual community event on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

This year features the presentation of WPJC’s annual Lifetime Peacemaker Award, a chance to meet and learn about various local organizations helping to imagine a compelling future, inspiring performances by local artists, and a keynote speech by Swinomish and Visayan elder Shelly Vendiola.

Shelly Vendiola has served as an educator, facilitator, activist, and mediator for more than 30 years and co-founded the Native Community Engagement and Peacemaking Project.

The in-person event is from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19 at Maritime Heritage Park. All street parking is free, including parking in the Commercial Street Garage.

The following WTA Bus lines stop at Maritime Heritage Park: 3, 15, 50, 232, and 331. The space is family friendly, wheelchair accessible, and we will provide ASL interpretation.

Activities for children will be provided at no cost. All active COVID protocols at that time will be followed.

Extra masks and sanitizer will be available for anyone who needs them.

Anyone who cannot attend the in-person event at that time can still participate in the Take-Out for Peace promotion with the participating restaurants listed the WPJC website, www.WhatcomPJC.org.

They can also attend the WPJC virtual event on Tuesday, Sept. 21 from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.

WPJC will hold a community discussion with processing and idea generation, as well as offer a host of local actions community members can participate in.

As WPJC enters its 18th year, the organization promotes lasting peace, social justice and a culture of nonviolence at home and worldwide.

We work toward these visions through partnerships, education, and direct actions.

To learn more about WPJC efforts, contact Executive Director Aline Prata at 360-734-0217, office@whatcompjc.org, or visit www.WhatcomPJC.org.