Thank you for your support in 2015! With every newsletter read, every message and idea sent our way, every event attended, and every dollar contributed, you’ve provided the encouragement we and our small but determined Rachel Corrie Foundation staff and numerous volunteers have needed to do this work. For a long while, we have been inspired by our Palestinian friends who have taught us about “sumud” – steadfastness. During a year when news from the Middle East and beyond has so often been devastating, you’ve lifted us up, sustained our efforts, and encouraged our “sumud.”
Together, we are making a difference. The discourse on Israel/Palestine is changing here in the U.S. and you have helped make that happen. With partner organizations, we are bringing the issues before members of Congress, and are bringing to the U.S. and our region the voices of Palestinians and Jewish Israelis who seek a just peace. You are making a difference for American and Palestinian students at The Evergreen State College and at Birzeit University in the West Bank, and for those with learning disabilities in Gaza. Despite the terrible repercussions of the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza and the stranglehold that the siege imposes, you are standing with the people there through support for our emergency relief projects, sport initiatives, and the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.
Challenges in the year ahead loom large. As we write this letter, Paris has just been attacked and political leaders are calling for revenge and more violence. There is little discussion of how our actions in the Middle East contribute to the outrage, and what to do about that. Here in our own community ofOlympia, Washington, we continue to grapple with the police shootings of two young black men earlier this year, resulting in one being paralyzed.
- There is ever more reason for our work within an anti-racist framework.
- There is ever more reason for the Rachel Corrie Foundation’s local, national, and international efforts that make the connections, foster appreciation for differences, and support grassroots action for universal human rights.
We will continue to do this work with our daughter Rachel in mind. In an email from Gaza, she wrote,
“The international media and our government are not going to tell us that we are effective, important, justified in our work, courageous, intelligent, valuable. We have to do that for each other, and one way we can do that is by continuing our work, visibly.”
As we bring the curtain down on 2015 and embark on a new year, please do what you can to lend a hand. Help us at the Rachel Corrie Foundation to continue our work “visibly.” Your interest, your participation, and your financial support in any amount will again provide the encouragement we need to address the daunting challenges before us. What will you do to help?
With respect and appreciation,
Cindy and Craig Corrie