Lezley McSpadden-Head to hold memorial service for her late son Michael


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Resolute in her commitment to preserving and enduring the legacy of Michael O.D. Brown, an unarmed Ferguson teenager who was killed by police on August 9, 2014, Lezley McSpadden-Head, mother of the beloved Michael O.D. Brown and the President and Founder of The Michael O.D. Brown We Love Our Sons & Daughters Foundation, will publicly celebrate her son’s birthday for the first time in a decade. Supported by Campaign Zero, an activist-led organization dedicated to ending police violence that began following the protests in Ferguson, MO., and featuring an art installation by 1-800 Happy Birthday, an ongoing voicemail project created in 2020 to honor Black and Brown victims of police killings and systemic racism, McSpadden will host two days of commemorative events in St. Louis in honor of what would have been her son’s upcoming 28th birthday.

Known affectionately as “Mike Mike,” Michael Brown’s murder sparked significant national protests and a movement against police violence and racial injustice. To honor his life and legacy and offer a space for reflection, community gathering, and continued advocacy for social justice, the posthumous celebrations include:

  • Michael O.D. Brown Scholarship Dinner on Saturday, May 18th, at Webster University from 5:45 PM – 8:00 PM. During the event, Lezley McSpadden will present the Michael O.D. Brown Scholarship, which will award fifteen $3,000 scholarships to students at Normandy High School, Michael’s alma mater, and several St. Louis County high schools, including Jennings Senior High & College Prep Academy, McCluer High School, University City High School, Central Visual & Performing Arts High School, and Riverview Gardens High School. Vincent Flewellen, Chief Diversity Officer at Webster, will deliver opening remarks, and Isaiah Melendez, Principal of McCluer High School, will deliver the keynote address.
  • Intimate gathering celebrating Mike Brown’s birthday, May 20th, from 4:30 PM – 9 PM. Social commentator, podcaster, comedian, and host extraordinaire, Mouse Jones, has been tapped to emcee the event. The function will also feature the unveiling of an art installation in honor of Mike Brown by 1-800 Happy Birthday. The repurposed phone booth will allow loved ones and the public to leave and listen to voicemails left on the birthdays of ‘celebrants’ – those unjustly killed by police violence in America.

Earlier this year, McSpadden-Head launched the “Michael O.D. Brown Memorial Scholarship,” designed to aid St.Louis, Missouri high school seniors in their pursuit of higher education in the performing arts, social justice, and trades. Funded in part by Campaign Zero, These scholarships will assist students pursuing further education at a community college, four-year college, or university, trade school for certification, or associate/bachelor’s degree in fields such as music, dance, writing, theater, or social justice/activism.

The scholarship is named in honor of Michael O. D. Brown, an 18-year-old teenager who just graduated high school two months prior to his murder, an aspiring musician affectionately known as Mike Mike by his family and friends. Brown, who was unarmed, tragically lost his life on August 9, 2014, when he was shot and killed by a white Ferguson police officer.

For more information on The Michael O.D. Brown We Love Our Sons & Daughters Foundation, please visit Michaelodbrown.org

Lezley McSpadden-Head is currently featured in “Making of an Activist,” a documentary available on Hulu and Disney +. In it, she shares her poignant recollections of the day that changed her life and ignited the inception of Campaign Zero.

About The Michael O.D. Brown We Love Our Sons & Daughters Foundation

We Love Our Sons & Daughters Foundation, born from the tragic loss of Michael O.D. Brown, strives for justice and equality. Founded by his mother, Lezley McSpadden, the organization serves as a catalyst for change, focusing on Justice, Health, Education, and Family. Through advocacy and support, the foundation aims to reform justice systems, improve health outcomes, enhance education opportunities, and strengthen family units.

About Campaign Zero

Campaign Zero is a data-driven organization started by activists to provide information and tools to end police violence. Campaign Zero encourages organizers, activists, and policymakers to focus on solutions with the strongest evidence of effectiveness at reducing police violence. For more information, please visit campaignzero.org.


WORTHLESSSTUDIOS provides space, materials, technical assistance, and resources for artists of all backgrounds to realize their creative visions. We are committed to supporting artists’ fabrication needs in NYC and producing engaging public art.

We dream up and execute public art programs collaboratively with our community partners and resident artists. In producing public art rooted in artistic activation, community engagement and education, we believe that we must go beyond simply installing artwork in public spaces. Two ongoing programs, the FREE FILM Project and the Plywood Protection Project, represent the core of our programming. 1-800 Happy Birthday is our first major exhibition in our new home at 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn. WORTHLESSSTUDIOS is a New York not-for-profit 501(c)3.