Who is a Cooperator?
They are people in our community that:
✔ Bring people together
✔ Explore common values
✔ Create a sense of community
✔ Publicly share their knowledge, wisdom, and skills in the community
✔ Improve the quality of life in Whatcom County
By Seth Mangold, Co-op staff and friend of Neah
Having grown up in Bellingham, Neah has always had a deep appreciation for our little corner of the world. After graduating from college on the East Coast, she spent a year in Romania as a Fulbright fellow. While living and working in Philadelphia as a writer and editor, Neah felt it was hard to grasp a deep sense of community as a transplant and decided to return home. And we are so lucky she did!
You may know Neah from her role as the Executive Director of the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center (WPJC). As the lone staff person, she oversees all WPJC programs such as Alternatives to Military Service, an in-school tabling initiative to provide students with information on paths to success that don’t involve joining the armed forces. WPJC also offers educational trainings on undoing systemic oppression, anti-racism, military spending, legislative advocacy, and nonviolent protesting.
she oversees all WPJC programs
In September, the WPJC hosted an event to celebrate International Day of Peace. Neah was able to bring people together to promote the event, coordinate volunteers, book speakers and artists, and organize other groups that work to create a peaceful world. Attendants were inspired by a vision for a just and equitable world. She acknowledged the leadership of our youth, which will be needed to carry out this vision.
On top of such a huge job as a head of a nonprofit organization, Neah also serves on the board of directors of the Bellingham Food Bank. She brings a keen understanding of the intersectionality between the often backwards societal and governmental priorities and the causes of hunger in our communities. Neah also has a strong connection to food because she loves to grow as much of her own food as possible. She even raises a few goats for milking and making cheese.
“our main responsibility is to take care of each other ... the easiest way to do that is showing kindness to one another.”
Neah says, “our main responsibility is to take care of each other ... the easiest way to do that is showing kindness to one another.” Seeing other people’s perspectives and hearing from those most marginalized is a necessary step in achieving that goal for her.
It’s clear through all of her work in our community that Neah embodies the cooperative spirit and does so humbly. We couldn’t agree more with one of her nominations that stated “Neah is a gem.”
It’s always an honor to honor those who do so much for us and others.