Michael Brown Program for Leadership and Social Justice
For many members of the Normandy community, Michael Brown is more than the name that launched a movement. He was a friend, classmate, a family member, and a son. His death was personal for many in this close knit community, including many students at Normandy High School.
Six years later, the Normandy High School staff and students have created a way to help honor the legacy of Michael Brown while working to instill important values and characteristics in its current students.
The Normandy High School Michael Brown Program for Social Justice and Leadership kicked off its first session in November 2020. Special guest speakers included three of the Rainbow of Mothers, family members who have experienced the death or shooting of a loved one by police. Members Lezley McSpadden-Head, mother of Michael Brown; Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant; and Marian Tolan, mother of Robbie Tolan all spoke to students at the program.
The Michael Brown Program for Social Justice and Leadership is a program committed to promoting social justice awareness, leadership, and civic engagement in Normandy High School students. Students are presented with a platform and space where they are encouraged to learn, engage, and take action on a series of topics and initiatives that move and challenge them. Each month students are granted the opportunity to interact with thought leaders who focus their dialogue on that month’s selected topic, encouraging, challenging, and outlining what students can do to be the difference they want to see in their school and community.
The program is geared toward sophomores and will be held via Zoom. Students will also be challenged to do a legacy project in honor of Michael Brown, who was known to spend time in the music department. The project is to raise funds to build a recording studio in Brown’s honor. Students will also present a challenge to the community, encouraging residents and families to support upcoming school community service projects like a toy drive.
This monthly program will focus on a variation of the theme ‘BE’, for example, BE Powerful, BE an Advocate, BE Courageous.
In addition to the guest speakers, the program will also feature discussions with students on the recent presidential election and coping strategies for COVID-19, as well as performances by students and local musicians.
Program DatesDecember 14: Be InspiredJanuary 11: Be CourageousFebruary 8: Be InformedMarch 8: Be RevolutionaryApril 12: Be HeardMay 17: BelieveThe meetings are scheduled for the second Monday of the month, 12:30-2:00 pm (time is subject to change).