Rosemary was born in Meridian, Mississippi and lived there until she was 12 years old, when her mom secured work in Chicago. Rosemary’s mom worked in quality control for a pharmaceutical company, and she eventually helped Rosemary secure a position with the company.  Rosemary later worked for the post office as a clerk for 18 years, until she went on disability due to sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease affecting her lungs. Rosemary is the mother of Antonio Porter, who has been incarcerated since 2002 after being framed for a murder he did not commit.

For the past 20+ years, Rosemary has been an active community member in Chicago working to reform the justice system. Her activism does not stop there; she also fights for medical rights for those in prison, after seeing her son's health decline while incarcerated. While in prison, Antonio developed blood clots in his lungs that were not adequately treated; now, he has to be cautious for the rest of his life in regards to his health. In order to fight back against the injustices inflicted on her son, Rosemary joined CAARPR’s Campaign to Free Incarcerated Survivors of Police Torture (CFIST) and Mamas Activating Movements for Abolition and Solidarity (MAMAS). Speaking at events, continuing interviews and serving as a member of MAMAS’ steering committee, Rosemary is a strong leader and advocate for incarcerated people.  

When she is not busy fighting for her loved one, you can find Rosemary shopping, decorating her home, and spending time with her 9 grandchildren and 2 great-grandbabies. She is passionate about her huge family and taking care of them.  Her strength comes from God, her son Antonio, and her good friend and fellow MAMA, Armanda, who encourages her to keep moving forward.

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"Being around other activists motivates me- I like to work with other people who are doing it. When we come together and work together, people actually listen to us. I’ve gotta do this- for my son, for other mothers' sons & torture survivors- their voices gotta come through us."
Rosemary Cade

Antonio Porter’s case is back in the circuit court! Sign up and follow our socials to stay informed of upcoming dates or help cover expenses by making a donation.

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