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11 Years After Her Death, This 23-Year-Old Peace Activist Keeps Inspiring Us

Rachel Corrie was killed in 2003, but her passion for peace lives on in her writings.
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Seattle Repertory Theatre production of "My Name is Rachel Corrie." Photo by Chris Bennion.

"This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop," wrote American peace activist Rachel Corrie in a letter from Gaza.

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Corrie was in Palestine with the group International Solidarity Movement, taking part in peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation. Just a few weeks after she wrote that letter, Corrie, who was 23 years old, was killed by an Israeli Defense Forces bulldozer as she attempted to shield a Palestinian home. Corrie was a talented writer whose work dealt with the themes of humanism, peace, and the most authentic and meaningful way to live.

After her death, Katherine Viner and Alan Rickman used Corrie's journals and emails as sources for the play "My Name Is Rachel Corrie." The play was first staged in London in 2005 and has since been performed in cities around the world. Corrie's story, told in her own words, is one of a person with a deep and joyful commitment to social justice who felt compelled to act on her convictions. It continues to be shared more than a decade after the end of her life.

Read more about Rachel's story here.

Below, watch Maya Angelou read an email Rachel Corrie wrote on her way to Gaza:


Kali SwensonKali Swenson wrote this article for The Power of Story, the Summer 2014 issue of YES! Magazine. Kali is a YES! editorial intern.

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