By Emily Weisberg / Palestine Monitor
Dozens of writers, activists, students, filmmakers and human rights organizers came to Olympia, Washington USA over the weekend of April 8-9 for the 5th annual Peace Works conference, organized by the Rachel Corrie Foundation.
The Rachel Corrie Foundation, began in 2003 following the killing of 23-year-old Rachel by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah, seeks to continue her legacy through community building and the promotion of human rights activism. Created by Rachel’s parents Cindy and Craig, the foundation began the Peace Works conference in 2006 to “bring people together to address issues of war, racism, economic inequality, environmental degradation, and oppression of individuals, groups, and peoples.”
The conference was held at the Evergreen State College, which Corrie attended before her death. Workshops and lectures were offered on a variety of current Palestine-Israel issues including water rights, diminishing borders, displaced villages, the recent onslaught of racist laws, home demolitions, ethnic cleansing, class struggles, colonization, trivialization of memory, and the success and challenges in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
The conference featured writer and poet Alice Walker on Friday evening, a sold-out event during which Walker discussed her own trip to Gaza with the Corries in 2009.