Celebrating Marissa’s Birthday in Chicago

It was fitting that dozens of supporters gathered on Sunday September 14th to celebrate Marissa’s 34th birthday in Chicago.

at Hull House Museum (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

at Hull House Museum (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

It was almost one year to the day that the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander was born out of a teach-in organized by Mariame Kaba of Project NIA.

On Sunday, supporters of Marissa gathered to discuss blackness, violence and self-defense. The event titled “No Selves to Defend, No Rights to Respect: Blackness, Violence, and Self-Defense” included a panel comprised of CAFMA members Ayanna Banks Harris, Mariame Kaba, & Ash Stephens. They were joined by Marissa supporter Toussaint Losier who discussed the history of self-defense in the black community.

Ash Stephens & Toussaint Losier at Hull House Museum (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

Ash Stephens & Toussaint Losier at Hull House Museum (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

Ayanna Banks Harris at Hull House (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

Ayanna Banks Harris at Hull House (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

The assembled group had several cakes and sang Happy Birthday to Marissa.

at Hull House (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

at Hull House (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

Cadence blew out the candles on behalf of Marissa.

at Hull House Museum (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

at Hull House Museum (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

We brought the Free Marissa online store to the event and supporters purchased over $260 worth of items.

at Hull House (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

at Hull House (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee, 9/14/14)

Marissa supporter Kelly Hayes organized a wonderful silent auction to raise money. Attendees bid on several items including watercolor paintings and a wonderful scarf.

at Hull House (photo by Kelly Hayes, 9/14/14)

at Hull House (photo by Kelly Hayes, 9/14/14)

beautiful art created by Gretchen  Hasse (photo by Kelly Hayes, 9/14/14)

beautiful art created by Gretchen Hasse (photo by Kelly Hayes, 9/14/14)

Marissa supporter Page was the lucky winner of the silent auction for Gretchen Hasse’s donated art

(photo by Kelly Hayes, 9/14/14)

(photo by Kelly Hayes, 9/14/14)

Supporters of Marissa also sent various messages of love and support.

photo by Sarah Jane Rhee (9/14/14)

photo by Sarah Jane Rhee (9/14/14)

You can see more messages of solidarity and support here.

CAFMA is grateful to the co-sponsors of this event Project NIA, the Porch Project at the Hull House Museum, We Charge Genocide, and the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Young Women. We thank all of the people who came out on Sunday to celebrate Marissa’s birthday and to raise more funds for her legal defense. Let’s keep up the fight until Marissa is free!

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One thought on “Celebrating Marissa’s Birthday in Chicago

  1. Pingback: Prison Culture » Catching Up: Some Odds and Ends

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