‘This is only the beginning’ Black film director says of Whatcom Juneteenth video project

What started as a loose idea over a cup of coffee between friends several months ago has culminated in the release this week of a video project showcasing Black leaders in Whatcom County discussing the significance of Juneteenth.

Connect Ferndale, a community equity group, released the nine-minute film “I am the Hope and the Dream” Monday, June 13. The film is intended to be used as an educational resource across county school districts and to start conversations. President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth a national holiday beginning in 2022. It’s also a holiday in Washington state.

“We do celebrate, we do talk about it,” Dr. Sislena Grocer Ledbetter, the associate vice president for Counseling Health and Wellbeing at Western Washington University, says in the film. “It’s a fun time and it’s a celebration and steeped in culture.”

People can watch the film on Connect Ferndale’s Youtube channel, or can attend the premiere 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at The Happy Place, 1215 Cornwall Ave. Reservations are required to attend the premiere and can be made online. Bellingham Unity Committee, which organizes events, celebrations and programs in Whatcom County honoring Black history, is hosting a Juneteenth Celebration 2-6 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Maritime Heritage Park at 500 W. Holly St. in downtown Bellingham.


Friday, June 17, 2022