Madison’s Wisconsin Hope Lab is responsible for securing full-ride scholarships for the three siblings of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old Missouri teen killed during a police shooting,.
That word came from Dane Co. Boys and Girls Club CEO Michael Brown as he spoke to the more than 2,000 unity rally attendees inside Ferguson’s Greater Grace Church Sunday.
“I traveled here from Madison,” Johnson told the crowd. “Today we're going to announce that all three kids of the Brown family will receive a free scholarship to go to college.”
The Wisconsin Hope Lab helps the underprivileged secure college education funding.
"A university president, who sent us a letter who wanted to remain anonymous, said they only wanted the parents to know that they would offer a free, all-expenses-paid, tuition-free education for all of his siblings," Johnson said.
On behalf of the St. Louis Urban League, Johnson also announced $20,000 in donations had been made to the Michael Brown College Fund. Of that, about $4,500 came from Madisonians opening up their wallets during events like the National Moment of Silence 2014 rally held in front of the City County Building Thursday.
“The three scholarships are for the siblings if they attend one specific university,” Hope Lab Director Sara Goldrick-Rab says. “The fund is for the siblings too--regardless of where they attend college. Mike's mom deserves to see her other children cross the finish line and receive their diplomas- I want to support her doing that.”
It may never be clear which university the full-ride scholarships are for, because the contract stipulates the donor remain anonymous.
The Rev. Al Sharpton invited Johnson, who is St. Louis' former NAACP vice president, to address the crowd, along with notable civil rights activists, like Martin Luther King III.