Family, friends and neighbors gathered at Canfield Green Apartments Friday afternoon to celebrate what would’ve been Michael Brown Jr.’s 20th birthday.
Michael Brown Sr. and his nonprofit, Chosen for Change Foundation, hosted the party to provide a moment of remembrance and joy for a community that organizers say is still dealing with grief.
“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,” Brown said.
The party featured free toys and food for the community, along with a moment of prayer and a balloon release. Organizers read books to children and dancers showed off before an impromptu group dance off.
“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.”
Carolina Hidalgo joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as the station’s first visual journalist. She now produces photographs, digital stories and radio features with a focus on issues of race, inequality and immigration. In 2019, she reported from the United States-Mexico border as an International Women’s Media Foundation fellow. In 2018, she was named one of The Lit List’s “30 photographers to watch.” Carolina also volunteers as a mentor with NPR’s Next Generation Radio project. She is a proud native of New York City and a member of Women Photograph and Diversify Photo.