2005 has been a brisk and full year for the Rachel Corrie Foundation and for our family. We have traveled to talk about the plight of Palestinians and have networked with those working for an end to the illegal Israeli occupation and a just, secure peace for all in the Middle East. Supported by generous hosts, we have taken our message to high schools, colleges, churches, homes, and peace and justice centers across the country.
We joined Friends of Sabeel North America at conferences in Atlanta, Austin, Cedar Falls, and Denver and the Baptist Peace Fellowship North America at their 20th annual summer conference at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. In Madison, Wisconsin, we shared the stage with our Gazan friends Khaled, Samah, and Sama Nasrallah, as we all addressed a regional conference of the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation. In Seattle and Chicago, sharing one of Rachel’s e-mails from Gaza, Cindy joined inspired activists reading powerful narratives from Howard Zinn’s and Anthony Arnove’s recently published Voices of a People’s History. During a beautiful New England October, we traveled the bucolic roads of the Granite State, speaking in several communities and lending a boost to New Hampshire Peace Action’s newly formed Palestine Education Network. With Presbyterians in Seattle and the Divestment Project in Somerville, we explained the importance of supporting selective divestment from corporations that benefit directly from the Israeli occupation; and in London, Cindy joined War on Want activists educating Oxford Street merchants about the Caterpillar boots and clothing being sold in their stores. There, too, at The Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square, we attended sold-out performances of “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” drawn entirely from Rachel’s lifelong writings, edited by actor Alan Rickman and Kathryn Viner of Guardian International, directed by Mr. Rickman, and performed by the ex-pat American actress Megan Dodds. Craig and other family members walked the halls of the U.S. Congress and the Departments of State and Justice continuing the challenging work of seeking accountability from the U.S. Government and an independent investigation into Rachel’s killing. A host of interviews resulted in articles in publications including the Guardian Unlimited, the Los Angeles Times, and the Des Moines Register, as well as segments on CNN International, Democracy Now! and National Public Radio of Iowa.
As we flew home recently after two days of events in Pittsburgh, we read comments from Jim Wallis (Sojourners’ Magazine) who talked of Martin Luther King and how he knew that “to change the nation, you had to change the wind… change how a nation thinks and feels and perceives the most important things…and then the politicians will follow.” Through the hundreds of talks and conversations we have had this year with thoughtful and caring people, we have tried to “change the wind” — here in the U.S. and beyond.
In many ways, it is the work of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice that provides the balm that soothes us as we meet the demands on other fronts. The foundation is where we dream about the possibilities Rachel imagined for connections to Palestine and where we try to emulate her creative approaches. We ask you to take a minute to review our accomplishments, our plans, and our hopes. With efforts in your own communities and with a tax deductible contribution to enhance the work of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, you can make your own commitment to a just peace in the Middle East. We urge you to consider both. We thank you for your enduring interest and support and hope that as we near the end of 2005, that your heart, too, may be filled with the promise of a new year.
Salaam, Shalom, Peace,
Cindy and Craig Corrie