Kali J. Rubaii is a cofounder of the Islah Reparations Project, along with Cam, Ross and Debra. She and her mom, Debra, first started a reparations-based restorative justice project with Iraqi families in 2009. Kali is a postdoctoral research fellow at Rice University, where she teaches environmental studies and researches the ecological impacts of military coercion. Her academic interests have focused on these questions: Where is violence located? What are the ethical obligations of witnesses to violence? Why and how does war end? And how do people live beautiful, ethical lives under conditions of destruction? Kali is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Purdue. ;lskdjfa;lsdfkjal;dfkj adl;fkajdf l;akdjf;aldfja
Ross Caputi teamed up with Cam, Kali, and Debra in 2013. His experience as a Marine who participated in the 2nd siege of Fallujah led him to become an anti-war activist and, later, the Founder and Director of the Justice for Fallujah Project. Ross’s activism thus far has focused on the idea that veterans not only have a moral obligation to help the people that they hurt in U.S.’s wars and occupations, but also to renounce their privileged status as heroes in American society. He is the co-author of The Sacking of Fallujah: A People’s History (2019) and the lead curator of the People’s History of Fallujah Digital Archive. Ross is currently working towards a PhD in History at UMass.
Debra Ellis, mom of Kali, friend of Ross, Cam, Nadya, and Jay, is recently retired from University of California Santa Cruz. She received her MS from Florida State University in Counseling and Human Systems. She credits students, illegal U.S. military occupations, Palestinians, Iraqis, Native Americans, and a military family for awakening her to the plight of oppressed populations. She has engaged in extensive introspection, study and travel with her daughter Kali to better understand violence, power, oppression, forgiveness and beauty. She has lived and worked in partnership with displaced families in Tibet, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Rwanda. Debra was one of many passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, who attempted to break Israel’s illegal siege of Gaza.
The principles that lead the U.S. to violate human beings are destroying nature, thus ourselves. Debra is eager to develop multi-generational reparation, learning from those we’ve oppressed, how to shift death culture to life culture.
Cameron Zachreson helped start Islah in the spring of 2013. He grew up in the US and is currently studying biophysics and high-resolution microscopy in Sydney, Australia. His interests include toxicology, pharmacology, and the collective motion of organisms.Cameron’s role in Islah has primarily focused on project planning; he contributes a scientific perspective to shaping the goals of the group.