Confronting Racism – Social Justice– Contemporary Issues – Conflict Resolution – Community Engagement
In Ferguson, MO on August 9, 2014 unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, Jr. was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson. Michael had just graduated from high school and was scheduled to begin vocational training classes just two days later. After his graduation, he told his father Michael Brown, Sr. “One day, the world is gonna’ know my name. I’ll probably have to go away for a while, but I’m coming back to save my city.” Unfortunately those words have come true for the Brown family, and Mike Brown, Sr is bringing his story and his foundation, Chosen for Change, to Colleges and Universities across the Nation.
“The name ‘Mike Brown’ has become the national symbol of police shootings of unarmed Black men. For me, I feel obligated to keep stressing the deeper meaning of his words. Because of my son’s death and the justice we’re still seeking, hurting people, grieving people who’ve lost their children to gun violence or police brutality reach out to me. They invite me to speak at gatherings. There is a small level of comfort in being in the company of the wounded, the lost, the other parents who understand that we can’t possibly ‘move on,’ ” – Mike Brown, Sr.
Michael Brown, Sr. decided to turn the pain and challenges of losing his son into an opportunity of change. Thus, “Chosen for Change Foundation” was born in loving memory of Michael Brown, Jr. It’s an organization whose purpose is to empower youth by helping them realize their potential for greatness.
Mike Brown Sr. will share the true story of his experience of his son’s death, and reveal who Michael Brown Jr., was beyond the often demonizing media portrayals. He will speak to his joys as a parent, his loss, and his own guilt, with the ultimate goal of making sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else. Mike Brown Sr. hopes to work with the communities he speaks in to set up a chapter of “Chosen for Change” an organization that educates youth to help one another instead of hurt one another, teaches them success and survival skills, and shows them how to be respectful of themselves and others.
While this program can be offered as a solo speaking engagement, Conscious Campus is also working with additional facilitators if the school would prefer a mediated event. A mediated event would serve the purpose of engaging students on the broader conversation of the “Black Lives Matter,” movement and moderating difficult interactions to find common ground.
“Just wow. Michael was so many things. He brought a message that needed to be heard. Some of our students went to lunch with him and they told me this was one of the best thing they have gotten to do in college. Michael comes from a place of hope and change. He’s working to help find a solution as he feels he was “chosen for change.”Marly Doty/Assistant Director of Student Affairs/Penn State DuBois