Peace Builder Awards
Celebrating people putting the pieces together for creative conflict resolution

Join us for the 15th Annual Peace Builder Awards
Presented by Peoples Bank

Nov. 17th, 2017 at 5:30pm
BTC Settlemeyer Hall

2017 Peace Builder Awards Recipients

Downtown Bellingham Partnership: Collaboration
For their commitment to foster relationships and nurture unity among businesses and the community at large

Portage Bay Partnership: Creative Conflict Resolution
For creative conflict resolution efforts between the Lummi Nation and Whatcom Family Farmers, resulting in a cooperative approach to improve water quality

Bridge Builders: Cultural Connections
For their efforts to foster understanding and spaces of communion and connection between all faiths in Whatcom County

Lindsey Karas, Sterling Meadows Apartments: Empowerment
For her steadfast commitment to the well-being of youth in the Sterling Meadows community

Karen Aislinn, PeaceHealth Medical Group: Healthcare
For building peace through exceptional emotional and social support for her patients and their families

Whatcom Community Foundation: Organization
For its Project Neighborly initiative, bringing the community together to promote connection, neighborliness, and understanding

Homeless Outreach Team, Opportunity Council: Program
For building peace by creating connections, and meeting basic needs of some of our community’s most vulnerable

Stephanie Lewis, Whatcom County Juvenile Court: Public Servant
For helping youth and families reduce conflict, connect, collaborate, and link with community resources


Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest
Sponsor a full or half table
Donate to our Silent Auction

Sponsor a full or half table to reserve your seats for this premier event. 


Contribute to the Wine Wall, Dessert Dash, or Silent Auction.

Special thanks to Brad Lockhart of LARIAT Creative for designing and donating our new Peace Builder Awards logo and header!

Our 2017 Peace Builder Awards Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor


Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors


And thanks to Wendy & Jeffrey Robinson

Silver Sponsors

And thanks to: Marian & Graham Exall, Mayor Kelli Linville, K. Ann McCartney, Kate McLean & Lewis Jones, and Dean & Carolyn Withrow


2016 Peace Builder Award Recipients
Videos created and donated by the City of Bellingham BTV Channel 10

Katherine and Sapphire, 2016 Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center Creative Conflict Resolution Peace Builder Award

The Bellingham Peace Vigil, 2016 Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center Community Peace Builder Award 

Rick Qualls (Samish Way Coalition), 2016 Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center Volunteer Peace Builder Award

The Star Park Project (City of Ferndale), 2016 Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center Collaboration Peace Builder Award

Eric Brown, 2016 Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center Environment Peace Builder Award

Jeff McKenna, 2016 Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center Education Peace Builder Award

Bard Lockhart, 2016 Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center Arts Peace Builder Award

Lummi Nation, 2016 Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center Transforming Justice Peace Builder Award

2015 Peace Builder Award Winners on BTV

2015 Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest Winners

We cannot imagine a peaceful future without the celebrating the contributions of our youngest peace builders. Each year, youth across Whatcom County submit peaceful poems and our panel carefully selects winners. Congratulations to our 2015 Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest Winners:

Beckett Ferry, age 6, grade 1, Cedar Tree Montessori

Ella Thompson, age 10, grade 5, Wade King Elementary

Thu Ton, age 16, grade 11, Squalicum High School

Matt Carpenter, age 17, grade 12, Lynden High School


Short videos of each winner, as well as a video of the entire event, created by Bellingham TV Channel 10 can be found at

a friend

what a friend
is. is much more
than you know.
because it’s more
precious than gold,
it’s hard to find,
but easy to lose.
a friend is a friend
no matter what color
skin it has, it doesn’t
matter what its name
is. a friend.
— Beckett Ferry

Elise’s Quest

There once was an owl whose name was Elise,
And every day she wished for peace.
But the creatures just fought over who would be king.
“I am much better, since you cannot sing,”
The songbirds would twitter, the foxes would shriek,
And oh, what a terrible havoc they’d wreak!
“I’m king,” said the chipmunk, “I’m cuter and quicker!”
Said rabbit, “You make too much acorn shell litter.”
So heart filled with sadness, away flew Elise,
To search for the secret of animal peace.
She traveled to India, China and Greece.
On her journey she met a wise tortoise named Ping,
Who told her the secret: “Elise is the king!”
She felt so confused as homeward she wandered,
Over Paris, and London, she flew and she pondered.
Through forests and deserts, past mountains she roamed,
‘Til finally she understood as she reached home.
Elise told the creatures “You all are the kings,
Of beautiful, great, and magnificent things.
Squirrel is ruler of treetops so green,
Eagle’s wide wings are the greatest we’ve seen,
Bear is so strong and can catch many fish,
Hummingbird’s pretty, with wings blue-greenish.
We all are unique, though we’re just you and me
We all are so special! We just need to see!”
When each animal saw the king in the others,
They learned to be friends just like sisters and brothers.
So now in the forest peace would always reign.
And Elise? Now that owl is happy again.
— Ella Thompson

The Lost Years

There was a time
When school made me fearful
When I was the new kid
The girl who was different.

There was a time
When English was a challenge
When I missed all my friends
The ones from my home.

There was a time
When people embraced me
When they led me through school
The ones I now love.

Now it is time
To help that one girl
The one who looks lost
The one who’ll be found.
— Thu Ton

The Life We Deserve

The faces that pass us by are all the same to us
We think very little of who they are or where they’ve been,
We just notice what it all came down to in the end.
We never see change,
We only see the changed.
Judging them silently,
Making up stories of how they passed or failed but never reasons why.
The thing we all should know and understand,
Is that it gets better over time.
After all,
It’s always the darkest before the dawn.
You’re more than just another face.
This is your story,
Your time and place.
Why waste it all for feelings that can be replaced?
When you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,
You have to wait for the next turn.
After you get through all these struggles,
You can finally live the life you’ve earned.
— Matt Carpenter