April 20th, In Lecture: Arun Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
April 21st, Putting Justice into Action: Exchanging Organizing Strategies and Addressing Issues of Identity and Oppression in Our Solidarity Work
April 21st, Jerry and Sis Levin (CPT) at United Churches
April 22-23, A Conference Cultivating a Just and Enduring Peace for the People of Palestine and Israel
History: After Rachel Corrie was killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003 while nonviolently protecting the home of a Palestinian pharmacist and accountant and their families from demolition, the Corrie family, with the devoted support of Olympia community members and supporters across the country, established the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, that continues the work Rachel began and hoped to accomplish. One of the Foundation’s dreams, Peace Works–an annual memorial lecture/conference addressing a significant justice and peace issue–will come to fruition in April 2006.
Rationale: The mission of Peace Works is to provide a continuing forum for exploring the meaning and practice of justice and peace as they affect the social, economic, political, environmental, and spiritual aspects of all people’s lives. The focus of the 2006 conference is the cultivation of a just and enduring peace for the people of Palestine and Israel. We were reminded recently by Jim Wallis (Sojourner’s Magazine) of how Martin Luther King, Jr. 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.” Our conference working group hopes that through this first conference many can join in considering where things stand in Israel and Palestine and can strategize about how to further “change the wind”—in this country, and hopefully beyond. We anticipate that this will be a meaningful event locally, regionally, and nationally.
The Audience: We will engage those long familiar with the Israeli-Palestinian issue and, also, newcomers who are interested in learning, sharing, and stepping up their own efforts to work for enduring peace in the Middle East. We hope to draw both local and regional participants, as well as friends from around the country who will want to be part of this discussion and the inaugural Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice event.
Formats and Speakers: We are considering formats that include lectures, panels, and small group discussions with emphasis on action flowing from the work we do together. The voices of conference attendees will be as important as those of the thoughtful and powerful speakers who will participate:
• Arun Gandhi: the fifth grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, a social-political activist, and founder of the M.K.
Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence in Memphis, Tennessee.
• Dr. Mustafa Barghouti: Palestinian physician and prominent Palestinian leader. Dr. Barghouti recently ran
as an independent candidate in the Palestinian presidential elections.
• Diana Buttu: Canadian-Palestinian lawyer, peace activist, and advisor to the Palestinian Negotiation Team.
• Amira Hass: Israeli author and journalist for the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz who has lived in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
• Huwaida Arraf: Palestinian-American co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement.
• Lama Hourani: Gaza Branch Coordinator of one of the first Palestinian NGOs, the Palestinian Working Women Society for Development, which advocates for women’s rights as equal citizens.
• Liat Weingart: Co-Director of Jewish Voice for Peace in San Francisco.
• Dr. Sarah Roy: Research Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard, author of The Gaza
Strip: The Political Economy of De-development.
How to Help:
This is an exciting but large undertaking for our foundation and community. To be successful, we need your help. Here are some things you can do to help:
• Join a planning committee: Program, Logistics, Tools (Publicity & Media), Gandhi Event, Interfaith Service, and Administrative/Finance & Fundraising.
• Become a sponsoring individual by making a tax deductible contribution to support the conference: Make check payable to the Rachel Corrie Foundation and designate “Peace Works” in the memo. Mail to Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, P.O. Box 12149, Olympia, WA, 98508 or use our convenient credit card option with Groundspring.
• Ask your organization to become a sponsoring organization providing financial and other support.
• Plan to attend one or all of the Peace Works events.
Information: For further details or to have a member of our committee speak with your group, contact Donna Schumann at 943-0965, 584-3103, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our web site at http://www.rachelcorriefoundation.org.