Michael Brown Jr. would be 20 today if he’d survived the Aug. 9, 2014, shooting by former Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson. On what would have been his son’s birthday, Michael Brown Sr. is choosing to focus on his son’s life, not just his death.
Brown and his nonprofit Chosen For Change Foundation will honor his son at the Michael Brown Memorial site on Canfield Dr. in Ferguson. The event, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m., will feature music, food, and cupcakes and ice cream for the first wave of attending children.
“We’re just trying to bring this party and the light of him to Canfield to share in the celebration with the community,” Brown said. “We just want everybody to have a great time, and a nice time, and enjoy themselves and bring smiles and some type of comfort back to their home.”
The foundation seeks to provide a moment of remembrance and joy for a community that organizers say is still dealing with grief. Michael Brown Jr.’s death and the subsequent media frenzy and clashes between police and protestors have hit people who live there hard.
“Children and families have been traumatized by the events of Aug. 9, the loss of Mike Brown Jr.," the elder Brown said. "I’m just trying to build the community back up.”
The celebration follows the Chosen For Change Foundation’s mission of uniting families and providing positive experiences for communities that have experienced strife in the wake of gun violence. The organization has honed its focus to provide support for fathers and male family members who have lost children to shootings.
Brown will lead a moment of silence during the event.