Love & Protect
I am an organizer with Love & Protect.
Love & Protect originally began in late 2013 as the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander (CAFMA), which organized to fight for the freedom of Marissa Alexander, a Florida Black woman and mother of three who had been criminalized (receiving a 20 year sentence) for defending herself in a violent attack from her estranged husband. It was during this time of organizing for Marissa’s freedom that CAFMA co-founder Mariame Kaba raised awareness around the fact that women of color, black women in particular, and gender non-conforming people of color, have “no selves to defend” and, therefore, have historically been criminalized for self-defense.
When Marissa Alexander took a plea deal in 2015 -averting a long prison sentence, thanks to organizing efforts – we transitioned the group to become Love & Protect with the broader mission of supporting women and gender non-conforming/non-binary people of color who are criminalized or harmed by state and interpersonal violence. We are also part of Survived & Punished, a national organizing project to end the criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence.