Rosemary & Howard Harris Lifetime Peacemaker Award
Dotty Dale Youth Peacemaker Award
Every year since 2005, the Lifetime Peacemaker award is given to a local peacemaker whose life's work is in the spirit of the founders of Bellingham's peace vigil, Howard and Rosemary Harris.
In fall 2022, the first Youth Peacemaker was named. Dotty Dale was a labor activist, the 2006 Lifetime Peacemaker Award recipient, and prominently involved with WPJC from its conception.
We believe that young people will build the future that we strive for, so our goal is to grow and support peace leadership among the youth (15-25 year old) in Whatcom County while connecting it to the legacy and history of devoted activists such as Dotty Dale.
Rosemary and Howard Harris Lifetime Peacemaker Award Recipients
2023: Betsy Pernotto
Betsy was one of the founders of Whatcom Jobs with Justice in 1995. She serves as co-chair of Jobs with Justice which actively supports workers uniting to form a union, bargain collectively, and fight for a living wage with benefits and decent working conditions, as well as community struggles, such as opposing cuts to public services, raising the minimum wage and a thorough cleanup of the Bellingham Waterfront. She serves as a delegate to the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, is a board member of Bellingham Food Bank and is on the steering committee of Community First Whatcom.
2022: Tina McKim
Tina McKim is a founding member of Birchwood Food Desert Fighters and Bellingham Deaf and Disability Justice Coalition, advocating for community-driven food justice. As an artist, writer, and organizer, she prioritizes disability justice and equitable communities rooted in interdependence. Inspired by Community to Community Development, Tina promotes a beautiful meal concept—respecting workers, the planet, and ensuring dignified access to culturally appropriate food for all.
2021: James Loucky
James Loucky worked as a professor of anthropology at Western Washington University for 31 years. Loucky has provided endless support for community organizations here in Whatcom County, as he is a regular at Friday peace vigils, has helped organize the Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival for 20 years, and writes to the community about local issues like environmental restoration, children’s rights, and the commons as common sense.
2020: Damani Johnson
Damani is the co-founder of Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, a retired political science professor at WWU, and longtime champion of social justice and nonviolence. He has served on the board for the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity; was a member of WWU's Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force; is the director of the Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Engagement; and speaks frequently about Black Lives Matter and the movement toward anti-racism.
2019: Kerry Johnson
Kerry is a long-standing Peace Vigil organizer and activist. He has attended the weekly Whatcom-Bellingham Peace Vigil nearly every Friday, rain or shine, for the last 17 years. Over the years, Kerry has played a crucial role in maintaining Harris' legacy on that corner every Friday.
2018: Beth Brownfield
Beth is a lifelong activist and educator who has dedicated herself to working for understanding and social action around tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. While living in Minnesota, Beth was deeply involved with Unitarian Universalist solidarity work in the Dakotas, including marching and camping in the Black Hills during the American Indian Movement occupation at Wounded Knee. She has played a significant supporting role in many tribal-led efforts in Bellingham. She took a leadership role in the Unitarian Universalist Association's repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery.
2017: Rosalinda Guillén
Rosalinda is a widely recognized farmworker justice leader. She works to amplify the voices of farmworkers in national debates on immigration issues, labor rights and trade agreements. She also works to strengthen cross-border alliances to build a broader base of support for immigration reform and agricultural policies that ensure equitable, healthy and sustainable communities for farmworkers and immigrant families.
2016: Darrell Hillaire
Darrell is a tribal member of the Lummi Nation; a producer, writer, founder of the Lummi Youth Academy; and a father and grandfather. He hosted the Dalai Lama’s visit in Seattle, is a Seeds of Compassion Committee Member, and served on the Lummi Indian Business Council for 15 years. As a storyteller, his works include "What About Those Promises?" about the Lummi way of life and the broken promises of the Treaty of Point Elliott signed in 1855.
2015: Jamie K. Donaldson
In 2002, Jamie opened the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center through her hard work and determination. Jamie has a long history of promoting nonviolence, alternatives to joining the military, human rights issues, and was co-leader of the Central America Peace Campaign in Washington State. Jamie is board president for the Bellingham Food Bank and continues to promote peace and justice.
2014: Barbara Rofkar
Longtime co-director of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, Barbara has advocated for education and outreach programs for awareness of issues in the Middle East. She is the co-founder of Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center and an educator around nonviolent communication.
2013: Ellen Murphy
With a lifelong dedication to nonviolence, equality, peace and justice, Ellen practices and teaches transformative nonviolent direct action, as she learned through working with Daniel Berrigan. Despite the repercussions of her courage to question congressional leaders on decisions that promote war, she continues her legacy of promoting peace. Ellen is part of the local organization Fellowship for Reconciliation of Western Washington that encourages nonviolence and seeks to replace racism and economic injustice with equality and peace.
2012: Shirley Osterhaus
Senior instructor at Western Washington University, Shirley has been involved in human rights activism for most of her life. She is one of the co-founders of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, Central American Refugee Assistance (CARA), and Bellingham-El Salvador Sister City Organization. With CARA, Shirley was deeply involved in the underground railroad (Sanctuary Movement) that assisted Central American refugees into Canada in the 80's and 90's due to U.S.-sponsored wars in Central America. Since traveling to Palestine, she has also been a strong advocate for Palestinian human rights.
2011: Peter and Mary van der Veen
Avid human rights activists Peter and Mary have been a strong part of the Bellingham community with their support and contributions. They have dedicated themselves to promoting peaceful living and nonviolence through their encouragement of education and community outreach.
2010: Margie White
A nurse and activist, Margie is best known in Bellingham for her protest against the Iraq war and the disturbance she felt for the Iraqi civilians that have lost their lives. She has a long history of promoting peace and anti-war advocacy as she first found herself participating in a voter registration drive in Meridian, Mississippi, in 1965. Later, protesting the Gulf-war and decade-long sanctions against the Iraq war.
2009: Bill Distler and James Gillies
Bill, a Vietnam War veteran and an advocate to discredit U.S. militarism was involved in the movement to stop U.S. intervention in El Salvador from 1981 to 1992. Bill has been a member of Veterans for Peace in Bellingham since the chapter formed in 2002 and volunteers with WPJC’s Alternatives to Military Service Program.
James, a Vietnam War veteran whose life was changed by military experience. James is an advocate for women’s equality, the environment, and promoting the cause of peace. He continues to do veteran outreach in the community, share his stories, and help where needed.
2008: Doris Ferm
A longtime member of the peace and justice and environmental advocacy communities, Doris has set an example of dedication and integrity toward peaceful living. The guided focus of her life was to live in peaceful coexistence with all of Earth’s creatures, to seek justice and peace in the community, and to advocate for peace among people everywhere.
Video of acceptance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xljRPvSp6NY
2007: Nick Mele
After a 25-year career as a U.S. diplomat, Nick retired to follow his passion for encouraging peace. A founding staff member for the Nonviolent Peaceforce, advocating for the reduction of militarism and armaments in the Asia-Pacific region. Nick and his wife are members of the Earth Ministry, and contribute to local environmental initiatives. Nick also writes for a variety of publications on foreign affairs, nonviolence, and other social justice issues.
2006: Al and Dotty Dale
Longtime peace and labor activists. Al was once a member of the Veterans for Peace National Board, and was a founding member of Bellingham Friends of Cuba. He was also a member of the Methodist Federation for Social Action, Veterans for Peace, and First Congregational UCC. Dale lives on by his wife Dotty, who actively participates in promoting peace within the Whatcom community.
2005: Howard Harris
Lifetime advocate for peace, conscientious objector in World War II, and associate professor of anthropology at Western Washington University from 1966-1992. Howard and his wife Rosemary Harris founded Bellingham’s peace vigil. His legacy lives on among those who follow in his footsteps to advocate for nonviolence, object to war, and teach peace.
Dotty Dale Youth Peacemaker Award Recipients
2023: Alfredo Juarez Zeferino (Lelo)
Alfredo Juarez Zeferino (Lelo), is an immigrant rights organizer, local farmworker, and oldest in his family. To his work, he brings his lived experience and ability to speak three languages (English/Spanish/Mixteco) and a deep cultural understanding of his people from Guerrero and Oaxaca. He is committed to supporting basic immigrant and worker rights for all. Lelo is member of the Immigrant Advisory Board in Bellingham, Community to Community Development (C2C) volunteer, and part of the leadership that helped form the Independent Democratic farmworker union, Familias Unidas por la Justicia.
2022: Sadie Olsen, Kwastlmut
Kwastlmut is an Indigenous rights advocate, co-founder of Whiteswan Environmental (WE), and involved in starting Whatcom Intergenerational High School. She promotes Indigenous cultural inclusion in education, serves on the Northwest Portland Area Youth Indian Health Board, and facilitates groups for Community Engagement Fellows. She represents Indigenous peoples at conferences and attends Northwest Indian College.