An Open Letter to Marissa Alexander

Marissa Alexander, mother of three, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for firing warning shots at the ceiling against a man who had repeatedly abused her for years. Although we cannot change our justice system overnight, we can all offer encouragement and love to Marissa. Here is her address, as well as a letter from her:

Please, if you can, take 30 minutes out of your day and write Marissa a letter. Below is what I’ve written. Peace and love always.


Marissa Alexander #2012033887
500 East Adam St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Hi Marissa,

My name is Vania and I’m from LA. I read your story in the news, and I just wanted to write and send you lots of love and encouragement. I also sent you (via Amazon) one of my favorite books, “Tuesdays with Morrie” so you have something to read – I hope you enjoy it!

While I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, we are all connected by our love for each other. Some people haven’t yet figured out how to place love above prejudice, fear, desire for power, etc. I firmly believe that through time, we will get better at this…but as of today, us humans have a pretty tarnished record of hurting each other. I am sorry that you have been hurt by our justice system.

I can only imagine the difficulties you face, but I just want to let you know that all over the world you are loved, you are supported, you are cherished, and you are thought of. You won’t even know it, but at the moments when you feel alone, you will never be alone. You literally have a global network of people who have your back!

In the same way that I am not defined by my job, you are not defined by the situation you’re facing now. I would like to believe that I am defined by the love I hold in my heart for others, for the things I do to express that love, for the thoughts I form in my mind, and for the ways I express those thoughts. You are an intelligent, strong woman – your value and who you are can never, never be taken away or demeaned by anyone or anything (not even a failed justice system). Always hold your head up high, believe in who you are, and know that you are powerful because you know your own intrinsic value.

And if others may try to bring you down, just remember that these types of folks don’t believe in their own intrinsic value (which makes them bitter, insecure, hateful, etc.) Don’t let these types of people weigh you down. When people get like this, they try to hurt others instead of focusing on their own issues – this has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. We would all miss out on the good, beautiful things if we spent our mental energies on negativity.

Keep your head up, my sister. Sometimes things get harder before they get easier – but remember that no situation is ever permanent. Whenever I would tell my dad that I couldn’t get through a situation, he’d always tell me, “Water seeks its own level.” It may not be overnight, but as a strong, intelligent woman, you will find your natural place where you belong. Just continue believing in yourself.

I’ve put a reminder in my calendar to send you another book at the end of August.

Peace and love to you.



Vania is an investor in the Media industry, focusing on music, film and TV. She sits on the Management Board of BMG Chrysalis, the world's largest independent music publisher. She and her partner live in London, but also split their time between Los Angeles and Berlin. Twitter: NirVan1a

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