Photo credit: Rob Whitlock
Cindy Corrie is the mother of human rights activist and observer Rachel Corrie who was killed March 16, 2003, in the Gaza Strip. Motivated by her daughter’s example, Cindy has dedicated herself to the pursuit of peace and justice in the Middle East. She has made numerous visits to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, including as a co-leader of three Interfaith Peace-Builder delegations. Cindy states, “Rachel wrote of the importance of making commitments to places and initiated one to Rafah and Gaza. The commitment that she made continues.”
Cindy resides in Olympia, Washington, where she serves as President of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. She and her husband Craig Corrie are recipients of a Human Rights Advocates of the Year Award from Seattle University’s Human Rights Network and a Pillar of Peace Award from the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Friends Service Committee. In October 2012, they accepted the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace on behalf of their daughter Rachel.
Craig Corrie is the father of Rachel Corrie and a founding board member of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. He currently volunteers as Treasurer for RCF. He has, with his wife, Cindy, given talks on peace and justice throughout North America and other parts of the world. He has accompanied Cindy in her travels to Israel/Palestine and had the honor and privilege to make many friends in the area. In previous lives, Craig was a life insurance actuary in an executive capacity with several insurance companies and spent 1970 as a squad leader with the US army combat engineers in Viet Nam.
Zoltán Grossman is a Member of the Faculty in Geography and Native Studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, who studies the intersections of nationalism, natural resources, and militarism. He is a longtime community organizer, and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. He is a past co-chair of the Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographer, co-editor of Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Crisis (Oregon State University Press), and author of Unlikely Alliances: Native Nations and White Communities Join to Defend Rural Lands (University of Washington Press). His Hungarian Jewish father survived the Holocaust, and since 1985 Zoltán has monitored far-right movements in the country and world.
Marla Byrne happily joined the Rachel Corrie Foundation as a board member in September of 2020. She is a proud Evergreen State College alumn, and received a B.A. with a concentration in Middle East Studies. She received an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and carried out research on the politics of international aid the West Bank, living in Bethlehem and working mainly at the Hebron Cultural Rehabilitation Committee in Hebron’s Old City.
She previously served as chair of the Mideast Focus Ministry at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle. She spent five years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in various roles and programs, and currently works for the State of Washington as a policy manager.
SAYAD (SY) KHAN
Photo Credit: Miguel Pineda
Sayad Khan (Sy) is a long-time volunteer of RCF, serving on the Development Committee and volunteering & MC’ing at the Olympia Arab Fest since its inaugural fest in 2012. Originally from Trinidad & Tobago, Sy grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Olympia in 2009. During his 9 years here, Sy has been an active member of the community, serving in various capacities at the Olympia Film Society, at KAOS radio at the Evergreen State College, and at the Rachel Corrie Foundation. On Saturdays, Sy hosts The Junglee Hour: Music from Bollywood and Beyond from 4-6 pm at KAOS 89.3 FM and loves to DJ and emcee parties & events.
Sallie Shawl turned her attention to Palestinian human rights in the mid-1980’s when she met some Palestinians in Tacoma. She discovered that their stories were horribly similar to her uncle Richard’s in Austria in the 1930’s. As a Jew saying “Not in my name,” she began working with those Palestinians and others in Tacoma against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. She retired in 2010 as Director of Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful, a program that organizes volunteers to paint the homes of low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Shortly thereafter, she went to Israel and Palestine, returning home more committed than ever to Palestinian human rights and civil rights. In 2011 she was a co-founder of the Tacoma chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.