Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Life, Light and Leadership of Rachel King: 1963 - 2008

Bill with Rachel -- 2003 Journey of Hope in Ohio

ONE ONGOING TRIBUTE, a collection of gratitude and remembrances from those who love and have loved Rachel in person and/or through her work. Here's to Rachel's Beautiful Energy and plain hard work that will help sustain us all on the difficult path ahead--expandable space ...

First--a beautiful statement of grief and gratitude from Marshall Dyan, who, as Rachel's longtime friend and colleague in so many ways, has been hit especially hard. Bless you, Marshall! We love you and are holding you in our hearts and in the One Light during this cloudy, shocking time. You speak for many of us. Thank you!

From Marshall:
I want to share remembrances of Rachel, because this loss is a really, really hard one. I first got to know Rachel when she was living and working in Alaska. I met her at a NCADP annual conference. She was wearing the now infamous "Fry Fish, Not People" t-shirt of the Alaskans Against the Death Penalty that has become synonymous with the movement in Alaska. She was smart, and pretty, and funny, with a great smile. She and I served together on the board of the NCADP, and she ultimately became a Chair of that board. We continued to work together while she was at Temple Law School, and also while she was with the ACLU-Capital Punishment Project in D.C.-- Where she found the time to write is beyond me. She worked all the time, and yet made time to write two books. When I succeeded her at the Capital Punishment Project after it relocated to Durham, NC, wherever I went across the country, as I visited state ACLU affiliates, I found that Rachel had already left huge footprints. Indeed, that is a hallmark of her life generally -- she left huge footprints. We should redouble our efforts to ensure that her life's work, abolition of the death penalty, comes to pass, and soon. May the memory of her life and work be a blessing to all. -Marshall Dayan

I go now to light incense and chant for my dear friend Rachel. May all beings fully awaken to their true nature. -Kobutsu

That we are all weeping together in the movement that she helped build and articulate better than most anyone else is appropriate. What an incomparable loss. -Jennifer Bishop Jenkins

Thanks for this very sad news, Bill. Please keep us posted, especially on DC services for Rachel. She will be deeply, deeply missed! love, Stephanie (former Journey of Hope board member, Stephanie Gibson.)

Dear Bill Pelke, Many regards from Holland, Wim Petersen from the city of Delden, member of ACAT Nederland. We will light a candle in our chapel for the late Rachel King. May she rest in peace. -Wim Petersen

Thanks for posting that note about Rachel. I was so sorry to hear that she passed away. She was a dedicated abolitionist and good friend to so many.
All the best, Ari (Ari Kohen)

I am at a loss for words. What a remarkable woman.
Rest in peace, Rachel, and thank you for your extraordinary contribution to humanity. -Celeste Fitzgerald

My heart is saddened by the passing of Rachel King. Although I didn’t know her well, I cherish the times I spent with her and will always be inspired about her work. I talked to her a lot when she was writing her book where she included Sunny’s story and my role in helping free her. She will be missed on a personal level and in the abolition movement. -Micki Dickoff


Other Tributes? Keep them coming and we will post--and/or send as a comment which we can then add to the others as we have a chance. Perhaps,send your items and photos to BOTH Bill Pelke bpelke@gci.net and Connie Nash, newlease7@yahoo.com so we can help make sure this blog is a kind of continuous vigil for 24 hours and beyond...

This Tribute is open-ended and we will also be updating with additions during days ahead...

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