Left to right: Denver Hatcher (Board Member), Patty Mosqueda (Board Vice President), Sonja Wentz (Board Member), Dakota Rakestraw (Scholarship Recipient), Ilan Pappe (Lecturer), Cindy Corrie (Board President), Craig Corrie (Board Treasurer)
Many thanks to our scholarship applicants and selection committee for their incredible contributions. We are proud to announce Dakota Rakestraw as the 2016 recipient of the Rachel Corrie Memorial Scholarship.
It was great to announce the recipient at our Inaugural Rachel Corrie Memorial Lecture as part of this year’s 10th Anniversary of Peace Works. As Sonja Wentz stated, “… [he] was impressive. He was valedictorian at his high school, a transfer student from Centralia College and his area of study is linguistics and international politics and relations with an emphasis on the Middle East and specifically, Palestine/Israel. I believe he is fluent in three languages and is currently learning Arabic. His overall application reflected the spirit, dedication to human rights and creativity that Rachel Corrie brought to the world.”
Dakota, grateful for the opportunity, said “Within this invitation to speak comes a responsibility, not only on me to make sure I am not speaking nonsense, but on all of us to recognize why we are here this evening. Had it not been for the courage and tenacity of Rachel to stand up and use her voice for Palestinians who are in almost every way subject to harsh Israeli treatment, we might not be gathered here this evening. Instead, we might be scattered, each of our voices singularly being drowned out by the onslaught of abhorrent rhetoric that seeks to quell the voices of Palestinians. It is her memory that tonight unites us and it is her dream that inspires me.”
The Rachel Corrie Memorial Scholarship at The Evergreen State College is for students dedicated to gaining a better understanding of the Middle East and to working, locally or internationally, to further Middle East peace. Areas of interest may include Arab culture and Arabic language, US Policy in the Middle East, and peace, justice, and conflict resolution studies. Applicants must show how they will use their studies to promote human rights and social justice through community activism and/or political advocacy.
- Recipients are required to complete a small exit project consisting of a short essay, art project, or other creative portfolio depicting their relevant experiences during the semester.
- Letter of application explaining your qualifications and why you wish to be considered for the scholarship.
- Two letters of recommendation from individuals, other than relatives, who are familiar with your qualifications.
- A short, one page, description of your intended studies and how you plan to incorporate them into the community context described above.
- Optional: A copy of art, prose, poetry, photography, or other creative medium that you feel is relevant to your qualifications. Do not send originals as items will not be returned.
There is a committee of four who review the applications. The committee consists of 1 RCF board member, 1 member of the Evergreen faculty, 1 community member, and 1 member of Rachel Corrie’s family. Each committee member reviews all applications thoroughly and independently. The committee comes together and after discussion and evaluation the recipient is chosen by consensus of the group based on the following criteria:
- Explanation of the student’s qualifications and why he/she/they want to be considered for the scholarship
- Student’s dedication to understanding the middle East
- We look at how the student will promote human rights and social justice in the Middle East. For example, through community activism or political advocacy.
- We look at the creative submission and its relevance to the application
To learn how to apply for the Rachel Corrie Memorial Scholarship, please visit The Evergreen State College web site.