Joining Hands Against HateBellingham Public Schools continues to sharpen our focus on equity, diversity and inclusion (also known as EDI), and we acknowledge that this is a work in progress. As part of The Bellingham Promise our key strategy, a One Schoolhouse Approach, was a first step toward an equitable approach to resources at our schools and included Project Free Education.

Our focus areas include, but are not limited to, race and ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, language and culture.

We have included EDI as an addition to The Bellingham Promise and to our annual budget document, Priorities for Progress. Currently, we are shining a light on this focus and our efforts via Promise stories, in InsideSchools and on social media.

This is evolving work. A few steps we have taken include creation and distribution of the Joining Hands Against Hate poster for all schools; engaging our community and receiving input about The Promise revisions; supporting the school board in developing a EDI policy (executive limitation); and sharing reflections from Dr. Baker with an emphasis on students, families and staff who represent historically marginalized populations.


Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Updates

Visit our EDI blog for updates and additional information from our director of equity, diversity and inclusion. Read the first update: “Taking care of yourself during challenging times.”


Talking to kids about EDI topics
What are we doing in Bellingham Public Schools?
Learning about white privilege

Talking About Race  from the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Trevor Noah on George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper (video)

Emmanuel Acho: Let your guard down and listen (video)

Talking to Kids About Racism, Early and Often, New York Times

A Call to to Action for White Educators Who Seek to be Anti-Racist PBS Teachers Lounge

Suggested Books

How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped:  Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (a YA book)

Courageous Conversations by Glenn E. Singleton

Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin J. DiAngelo

Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students by Zaretta Hammond

Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities) by Amanda E. Lewis and John B. Diamond

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam

Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family/School Partnerships by Anne T. Henderson

Professional Development Training

(these courses are currently available for staff)

REACH Workshop: Cultural Identity & Diversity
The REACH framework assists staff members across school settings to acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to value and respect each student in a culturally responsive manner.

Culturally Responsive Practice Training

Participants will build awareness and understanding of culturally responsive teaching and the Ready for Rigor framework for instructional leaders in order to facilitate building level professional learning and collaborative inquiry/ coaching. Participants will be able to describe the Ready for Rigor framework and give examples for how the components of the framework can be actualized in their specific setting.

Introduction to Cultural Identity & Diversity
This course will focus on equity and diversity, with a focus on how to recognize bias’ and address them productively. Participants will learn what it means to be culturally responsive in classrooms, the school, and the community. .

Anti-Bias Training

Emerge Strategic Designs supports the implementation of a bias response leadership team, supported by the district’s vision, mission, core beliefs, and key strategies. Increase bias awareness at the individual level. A) Advance praxis of personal identity development and explore influences and socialization. B) Identify inequity of privileges.

What do our students say?

ELL Student Voices


LGBTQ Student Voices



What does equity look like?

equity graphic
Click to enlarge image.


What does equity look like to you?

Janis Velasquez Farmer

Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion



Lorrie Melton

Executive Administrative Assistant, Teaching and Learning & Equity, Diversity and Inclusion



Bethany Barrett

Assistant Principal

360-676-6470 ext. 5209


Isabel Meaker

Executive Director, Family Engagement



Jay Jordan

Assistant Superintendent, Teaching and Learning