As a conduit for ongoing community collaboration, engagement, and education, within the broader context of diversity and inclusion, the purpose of the WREC is to gather, review, and evaluate data and to make recommendations on eliminating racial inequities, in all its forms, throughout Whatcom County. The vision of the WREC is that all races in Whatcom County live, thrive, and belong for who they are, as they are, without fear, every day.
Whatcom County recognizes the community-wide costs and impacts associated with racial inequity and disparities, including negative health care outcomes, increased health care costs, reduced economic opportunity, increased government services costs, poor education outcomes, crime, and housing insecurity.
To this end, Whatcom County - in coordination with numerous community partners and the City of Bellingham - established the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission (WREC) in October 2022. The Commission was formed through Whatcom County Council Ordinance 2022-065 and through the addition of Chapter 2.107 to the Whatcom County code. Subsequently, the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County executed an interlocal agreement (Whatcom County contract 202210012) which provides for joint governance, operational oversight, and funding to support the Commission.
Whatcom County is currently working to contract with a nonprofit organization to provide initial support for the launch of the WREC and ongoing administrative services in support of the Commission. Additionally, the County is in the process of seating the Appointment Committee described in WCC 2.107.070.
A timeline and list of next steps is included below:
Release Request for Proposals (RFP) for Administrative Services
Seat Appointment Committee as described in WCC 2.107.070
Whatcom County / City of Bellingham
Evaluate RFP Responses
Contract for WREC Administration Begins
July 1, 2023
Whatcom County / Contractor
Begin hiring process for WREC Executive Director
Contractor / Appointment Committee
Seat WREC Membership
Appointment Committee / WREC Executive Director
Develop WREC Bylaws, begin meetings, etc.
WREC Executive Director / WREC Steering Committee
This project will be co-managed by Whatcom County and the City of Bellingham, with Whatcom County serving as lead agency.
The county is seeking applicants for the Appointment Committee described in WCC 2.107.070. This is separate and distinct from membership on the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission and is a time-limited commitment through the end of 2023. To learn more about the Appointment Committee and to submit an application, please visit Application Details.
Please contact Kayla Schott-Bresler for more information.
WCC Chapter 2.107
Interlocal Agreement County-City
County Bids Page -Link to WREC Admin Services RFP to be available mid-April