Mike is the Founder and Executive Director of Freedom Community Center. His aim is to build on the radical Black faith tradition of nonviolence and civil rights. Since 2013, Mike has spearheaded grassroots violence interruption efforts, facilitated nonviolence/peacemaking groups, and organized communities to expand Black political power among millennials. Organizing campaigns to elect progressive prosecutors, support mayoral elections, and ballot initiatives. Prior to his work at FCC, Mike has organized against mass and illegal evictions, neighborhood gentrification, and criminal justice efforts to end cash bail. In 2018, Mike started The Bail Project’s inaugural site in St. Louis in which he eventually founded three more sites across the St. Louis metropolitan area. Resulting in posting bail for more than 4,000 people and supporting their return to court. As the Statewide Policy Manager of TBP, Mike fought off legislation that would have imposed biased risk assessment algorithms and increased use of electronic monitoring in the state of Missouri. He also supported grassroot Black-led orgs in founding their own bail funds. The Bail Project was one of the anchor organizations of The #CloseTheWorkhouse Campaign - an abolitionist campaign to close a local jail in St. Louis. In July 2020, The Board Alderman voted unanimously to defund and close the workhouse. Mike is the 2021 recipient of the JM Kaplan Social Innovation Award and a 2022 Galaxy Leaders Fellow. Mike currently serves on the St. Louis City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council's Alternative to Incarceration Committee. His focus is advancing an abolitionist framework to end the prison industrial complex. Mike is a trained Restorative Justice practitioner.
We Make Peace
"What if you can still feel a sense of justice without reaching out to the legal system? What if you still can have access to healing without punishment? What if this person who harmed you can do the hard...