Support CeCe! Please donate!

“This kind of love gives me inspiration and keeps me motivated to fight for myself and those who have been in my shoes, and for future generations.” – Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your support of Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald. By raising awareness with friends and neighborhoods, hosting fundraisers, and demanding that Hennepin County be held accountable, our communities have done an outstanding job rallying around CeCe. This outpouring of support is why CeCe’s story is probably already familiar to you. It’s been on the news and in the papers, Facebook and Twitter, and on the streets when over eighty community members showed up to support her at the court house on July 11th, 2011.

CeCe McDonald is a young African American transgender woman who, before her life was so unjustly interrupted, was a creative and energetic student studying fashion at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. She had a stable home where she lived with and helped support four other African American youth, her family. CeCe’s family describes her as a leader, a role model, and a loyal friend. She is also known as a wise, out-spoken and welcoming person. Those closest to CeCe say she has a very cheerful disposition, as well as a history of handling prejudice with amazing grace.

CeCe McDonald was attacked by a group of white adults while walking by the Schooner Tavern on Lake Street in South Minneapolis, early on the morning of June 5th. Patrons of the bar attacked CeCe and her friends with racist and transphobic slurs and bashed CeCe’s face with a glass. Although CeCe was the target of a hate crime, she was singled out and charged with second degree murder after one of the attackers was killed. CeCe was held for a month in solitary confinement for her “protection,” despite her requests to be moved, and remains behind bars awaiting trial.

Since CeCe’s arrest her family has received harassing phone calls threatening both their well-being and CeCe’s safety in jail. They have also been approached violently in public settings: they have had bottles thrown at them, and several trucks have followed them down the street. They continue to fear for their safety and want CeCe home.

CeCe McDonald’s situation continues to evolve, but thanks in part to community involvement, there are several victories to share. So far, through community fundraising efforts and a Paypal campaign, we have raised just over $3,000 for CeCe’s support fund. As of July 1st, CeCe’s request to be moved from solitary confinement to the psychiatric ward – often the safest place for transgender and gender non-conforming inmates – was granted. You can keep updated on CeCe’s support efforts by visiting www.supportcece.wordpress.com.

We collectively call for the release of CeCe McDonald and an immediate end to violence against transgender women. CeCe’s experience with violence is far too common.  Transgender women of color are murdered at a rate 16 times the national average – more than one murder per month nation-wide. Hate crimes tear communities apart and produce conflict in our neighborhoods. Institutional bias and ignorance on the part of county officials conspire to make an unjust situation unbearable.

We are writing to ask for your help to support and free CeCe McDonald. By arresting the victim of a hate crime, by holding CeCe in solitary confinement against her wishes rather than for her protection, by using incorrect pronouns and not recognizing her gender, it has become crystal clear that the Hennepin County justice system is not safe for CeCe and we seek to release her from jail as soon as bond money totaling $15,000 is raised.

We graciously ask that you show your support of CeCe with a donation of $5, $15, $50, $500 or $5,000. Please give, as no amount is too small and every donation brings CeCe one step closer to home.

Online donations can be made via Paypal at www.supportcece.wordpress.com. Coldsnap Legal Collective has also generously offered to manage check donations to support and free CeCe. Donations can be made out to Coldsnap Legal Collective, with “Support CeCe” in the memo line, and mailed to:

Trans Youth Support Network
3405 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your donation, please email mpls4cece@gmail.com.

Donations will be used to secure release for CeCe McDonald, allowing her to return to the safety of her home and family while navigating the criminal justice system. Monetary support will also provide funding towards phone calls and commissary while CeCe awaits her release, as well as housing and living expenses for CeCe’s family.
We are grateful for your commitment and generous support. We are eager to rally our communities, put an end to hate crimes and bring CeCe home. Thank you for whatever you can do to help.

In solidarity,
CeCe’s family, friends, and supporters

P.S. If you are interested in hosting a fundraiser, other ways you can help, or the tax deductibility of your donation to CeCe, please email mpls4cece@gmail.com. We are currently in need of many household goods to help support CeCe and her family after their displacement from their shared home. Items we are seeking include: beds, sheets, dressers, couches, coffee table, table and chairs, laundry baskets, dishes, cups, silverware, towels, and toiletries.

Posted on July 20, 2011, in Updates. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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