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Fund This: Alynda Segarra’s Body Electric Fund

Fund This: Alynda Segarra’s Body Electric Fund


The Hurray for the Riff Raff founder looks to fight injustice with musical fundraising campaign

Nine days after giving birth to a premature child, Florida woman Marissa Alexander found herself at the tail end of a life-threatening beating from her estranged husband, who has been arrested for domestic abuse twice, has previously sent Marissa to the hospital after a beating, and has admitted in a sworn statement that he was the aggressor. In response, Marissa fired a warning shot upwards into a wall in order to defend herself. Despite Marissa's intentions of self defense, the lack of injury resulting from the shot, and Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, she was sentenced in 2012 to 20 years in prison for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with no intent to harm. Released on bond in November of last year, she must now pay hefty fees in order to support her house arrest and faces the potential of a mandatory 60 year sentence from a new trial.

When Alynda Lee Segarra, founder of folk-blues collective Hurray for the Riff Raff, heard about the case, she was inspired to do anything she could to help. "It is a great injustice what is happening to her, a woman trying to protect herself and her child from an abusive ex partner," she tells Out. "She somehow has done more jail time then the man who killed Trayvon Martin and the officer who killed Mike Brown. I find this extremely disturbing."

Her song, "The Body Electric," which had already been released to critical praise, has since been re-released online in a lyric video that describes Marissa's situation through comic panels meant to raise awareness.

Now, Segarra and the rest of the band members have taken to Indiegogo for a new initiative based on the song. Intending to create a full-fledged music video for "The Body Electric," the group is asking for $10,000, which will be used to shoot in New Orleans and "shed light on violence among not only women but also minorities and the LGBT community."

Any additional donations will go towards The Body Electric Fund, which will support organizations ranging from The Trayvon Martin Foundation to youth-led feminist and queer activism group Third Wave. The band also hopes to use the video as a vehicle to promote the fund and will be working with RPM, "a nonprofit agency that provides artists with strategy and support for their activism and philanthropy," to ensure it's used wisely.

"We hope through our fundraising to support organizations that nourish the minds and cherish the futures of our youth: to give them hope and to help them prosper in a time of great uncertainty," Segarra explains. As a special incentive, she's offered downloads of her previously unreleased track "Everybody Knows," which addresses the Trayvon Martin case, to anyone who donates $10 or more to the campaign.

"I hope to use our platform as a band to shine the spotlight on those organizations that do the work that can truly change our futures. Help encourage our youth to become the next Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, and Dr. Martin Luther King that we so desperately need in these grave and important times," Segarra says. "I have always looked up to artists who spoke about injustice. I have always felt like It is the duty of the artist to encourage culture to grow and become more loving and livable. My heroes have always done that so I am just trying to live up to the great work that's already been done."

Watch the band's Indiegogo video below:

Donate to The Body Electric Fund over on the project's Indiegogo. Donate to Marissa Alexander's legal defense fund on

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