The Marquis Jaylen Brown Foundation amplifies the voices of mothers and students in a unified mission to challenge social injustices and the status quo of policing and mental health in the United States. Lack of mental health resources on campus is a life-threatening issue. A recent United Educators (UE) claims study conducted over a five-year period shows that student mental health issues on college campuses are “growing, dangerous, and costly”. Death by suicide is the second leading cause of fatalities in youth ages 15-24.
When parents are faced with the aftermath of a crisis or the loss of their child, they are rarely given the transparency and answers they deserve. There are constant barriers that stand in the way of grieving mothers who are seeking justice for their child. Laws like FERPA are meant strictly to protect students’ education records and personally identifiable information, but according to Edweek, “schools have widely come to misunderstand FERPA as preventing them from providing the public even with an anonymized factual description of serious disciplinary incidents or safety problems that involve students.” In 2016, a federal judge sanctioned Northern Kentucky University lawyers who “frivolously claimed that FERPA prohibited coaches from testifying about how they responded to sexual-assault accusations against members of the school basketball team.” (Edweek, 2018) Parents who are trying to learn more about what happened to their child find themselves unable to access full information about incidents, making them unable to advocate for their child.
Through a series of programs, the MJB Foundation’s role is to address these issues head on by training and connecting students in a safe network for exposing injustices on college campuses, as well as providing resources for mothers to conduct independent investigations to answer basic questions like “what happened to my child?”. The MJB Foundation provides advocacy for mothers, who have a right to represent their child’s narrative should they fall victim to questionable or unjust circumstances. The MJB Foundation stands on the principle of Trauma to Triumph: the voices of those who have faced injustice and tragedy are now empowered to create lasting change.