Recent Events

Recent Events

Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 10:00am to 4:30pm

Whatcom Hospice Administration Building, 2800 Douglas Ave, Bellingham, WA

What questions about death and dying have you been wanting to ask? What questions have you been afraid to ask? Can art-based investigations help us to think about death in new ways? …to  think about hope in new ways? How can an exploration of death help us to live life more fully?  

Join us for an all day workshop. Through a series of writing, movement, dialogue, and art-based exercises, we'll dive into these questions and open an honest conversation about death and dying.

The Facilitators:

Jenna Bean Veatch (MFA) is a multi-disciplinary artist, teacher, and facilitator who has been accused of creating "pure, unadulterated, heart-stopping whimsy." She makes dance-theater shows, stop-action animated music videos, delightful objects, and community gatherings designed to facilitate connection. She earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from the California Institute of Integral Studies and teaches classes on the creative process locally.

Sharmon Figenshaw (RN, MN, ARNP, ACHPN-BC) is a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner working with families facing end-of-life transitions for almost 30 years. She is active in end-of-life community education and outreach, including state and nation-wide projects on advance directives and end-of-life choices. As a consultant, she supports people facing serious illness/ debility; she hopes to engage our community in conversations about how we embrace and care for those affected by illness or debility, including care of the dying.

Gracen Bookmyer is a senior at Fairhaven College with a concentration in End-of-Life and Palliative Care. She is a volunteer with WAHA, Hospice and sings with the Threshold Choir. Gracen is motivated to engage people in topics around death and dying because she sees it to be integral to living fully and believes it has tremendous potential for fostering connection with community. 

Marie Eaton (PhD) taught courses on Death and Dying and is the Director of the Palliative Care Institute at Western Washington University. The Palliative Care Institute mounts projects with other partners focusing on provider training and community education and activation to demonstrate how ‘palliative care’ can improve quality of life, not just physically, but also in mind and spirit, and help patients live as actively as possible until death and ease their dying process when that time arrives. 

Cost: $65.00 (includes lunch). Pre-registration is required. Some discounted tuition spaces are available, especially for students.  Email to register or to request a discount. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

St. Luke's Community Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Pkwy, Bellingham, WA 98225

"It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late." 

The Palliative Care Institute, in collaboration with PeaceHealth, The Chuckanut Health Foundation, the Whatcom Alliance for Heath Advancement, and community activist, Micki Jackson, is hosting an evening of stories about the importance of Advance Care Planning to help you better understand the implications of your healthcare choices if an accident or serious illness happens. 

Perhaps you think you’re too young to begin these conversations – or perhaps you’ve just been procrastinating. Over the evening, community members from every generation will share stories about why planning ahead is so important. 

Resources for completing your own advance care directive will be shared.

In a special effort to encourage students to attend, there will be a raffle drawing for five $1500 scholarship awards for any current student at NWIC, WWU, BTC, WCC or SVC. So bring your student body card along.

Scott Foster, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Executive, PeaceHealth Medical Group, will highlight PeaceHealth's commitment to a comprehensive system for understanding, documenting and honoring patient values and goals for care at the end of life in all healthcare settings, including Advance Directives.

This event is free and is offered in support of National Health Care Decisions Day.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 6:15pm to 7:45pm


Bellingham Public Library - Downtown

One in seven children lose someone important to them before they are 18, and yet, we often shy away from talking with children about death.

If you are worried about how to talk about death with children and youth, you’re not alone. Books provide a way to begin these conversations.

Representatives from the Palliative Care Institute, the Whatcom County Library System and Western Washington University Libraries have collaborated to share information about some of the books that address grief and loss.  

We’ll talk about developmental phases of grief through childhood and adolescence and share some of the ways books can be used successfully to open doors for conversations on these topics with children and youth.

This event is free and open to the public.


Thom Barthelmess, Youth Services Manager, Whatcom County Library System

Sylvia Tag, Curator, Children’s Literature Collection, Western Washington University Libraries

Marie Eaton, Director, Palliative Care Institute, Woodring College of Education, Western Washington University

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 9:45am to Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 12:00am

Apply Now for Woodring ScholarshipsNeed money for school for the 2018-19 academic year?

Apply now for Woodring scholarships!

Start with the WCE Scholarship home page.

The deadline to apply is April 28, 2018.

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 6:30pm

Justice Speaks & WGSS Present:

School-Prison Nexus: Building Freedom, Resistance & Communities

Thursday, Feb. 22nd
6:30 pm
Fraser Hall 102
***Admission is FREE***

Dr. Erica Meiners, Professor of Education and Women's and Gender Studies at Northeastern Illinois University, and Dr. Sabina Vaught, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Education Director of the Program in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Tufts University, will be co-visiting WWU as a two-day event and as a part of the Justice Speaks series organized by ESJ. Dr. Meiners is the author of a number of books including: For the Children? Protecting Innocence in a Carceral State (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and The right to be hostile: Schools, prisons and the making of public enemies (Routledge 2007).

Dr. Vaught's forthcoming book, Compulsory: Education and the Dispossession of Youth in a Juvenile Prison School (University of Minnesota Press) is a critical ethnography of one state’s juvenile prison schooling system.

Both are considered leading scholars in better understanding and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline/nexus. Within this context, they will also be incorporating feminisms, slow work in always urgent times, building freedoms, resistance, and communities.

Event Poster

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

The Palliative Care Institute and the RN-BSN Nursing Program have partnered with the Pickford Film Center to bring Defining Hope to Bellingham.

Defining Hope is a story about people weighing what matters most at the most fragile junctures in life, and the nurses who guide them. This documentary follows patients with life-threatening illness as they make choices about how they want to live, how much medical technology they can accept, what they hope for and how that hope evolves when life is threatened. It is optimistic and reminds us that we have choices in how we die.

Defining Hope, which won the Best Premiere – Documentary Feature at the Heartland Film Festival, grew out of the groundbreaking American Nurse book and film by Carolyn Jones, and another year of research and interviews focused on what Dying in America looks like. This new film, Defining Hope, is the culmination of that journey.

This movie is critical and relevant right now, with our rapidly aging population and incalculable challenges in healthcare and end-of-life care. We aren’t dying the way we used to. We have ventilators, dialysis machines, ICUs—technologies that can “fix” us and keep our bodies alive—which have radically changed how we make medical decisions. In our death-denying culture, no matter how sick we get, there is always “hope.” The will to live is a powerful force, and eventually we will all have to make individual decisions when faced with very complex choices.

Join us for the screening of this important documentary film about end-of-life choices and a post-film discussion with nurse leaders in our community.

                            Sarah Bear, Director, RN-BSN Nursing Program, Western Washington University.

                            Jodi Newcomer, Nurse Manager, Whatcom Hospice

                            Sharmon Figenshaw, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner

Tickets are required. Seating is limited and this screening is likely to sell out, so purchase your tickets in advance at the Pickford Film Center

Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

5 p.m. at Miller Hall 231 

Friday, December 1, 2017 - 4:00pm

At a time when campuses around the country are facing questions about free speech in classrooms and on campuses, when students silence views with which they disagree, and hate speech threatens to produce violence, the University of Pennsylvania’s Jonathan Zimmerman will help us think through how college campuses should think about free speech on campus. Drawing from his new co-authored book, The Case for Contention: Teaching Controversial Issues in American Schools, Prof. Zimmerman will provide guidance for administrators, professors, students, citizens, and activists.

  • When, if ever, should speech be limited?
  • How do universities respond to ideas that are rejected by scholars?
  • Are universities “free speech zones” or do they have an obligation to favor expert knowledge grounded in research?
  • How should universities respond to threats facing free speech on campuses today?

Please see the presentation poster for additional information.

Location: CF 120

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Western Washington University’s Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity and the Western Foundation will host historian Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, from 7:30-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15 for History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving on the main stage of the WWU Performing Arts Center.

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for entrance; they are available from the Western Box Office online or in the Performing Arts Center.

For complete information about this event, please see the Western Today article.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

The Center for Education, Equity and Diversity and the Education and Social Justice program invite you to join us for our 10th Annual Open House Celebration with J.P Falcon Grady, a member of the Blackfeet Nation. J.P's resonanbaritone voice and guitar accompaniment promises to make a memorable evening. Please join us for refreshments, food, music and good company.

Location: MH 005