Initial Press Release


SOULSTIR announces children’s book and program honoring the memory of Lil' Jeannetta Robinson in partnership with Elder Charles L. Walton and United Way

GRANGER, IN, September 17, 2021 - SOULSTIR LLC (SOULSTIR), a social enterprise founded and led by Mike Brown, the first Black student to portray the iconic Notre Dame Leprechaun mascot, today announced the start of preorders for its debut children’s book, Little Netta’s Gift, and the launch of Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Gifts of Love, a holiday giving program, in partnership with Elder Charles L. Walton and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. The book and program honor the memory of Brown’s late cousin, Jeannetta Lacole Robinson (Lil’ Jeannetta/Little Netta), who was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, and tragically murdered at age 9, along with her mother, Cheryl Robinson, age 25, on April 4, 1984.

Based on a true story about the spirit of giving, Little Netta’s Gift is an inspiring children’s picture book scheduled to be published in December 2021. Little Netta’s birthday is two days after Christmas, and at her sixth birthday party she showed tremendous compassion for others by giving her gifts to children attending her party after learning they did not receive Christmas gifts. “The kindness my cousin exhibited at such a young age is truly remarkable,” said Brown. “It’s an honor to share her story through this book, and I hope it serves as inspiration for all of us to share the gift of love with each other.”

A portion of the proceeds from book sales will support the Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Gifts of Love program, which aims to bring joy to children that may otherwise go without during the holiday season. The program is a resurrection of a prior holiday giving event that was held annually in memory of Lil’ Jeannetta on December 27th (her birthday) from 1985 through 2013.  The original event, which grew to distributing holiday gifts to 2,000 local Milwaukee youth, was created by Lil’ Jeannetta’s grandmother and namesake, the late Commissioner Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson, who along with the late Ms. Claretta "Mother Freedom” Simpson, was the Co-Founder of Career Youth Development, Inc. (CYD). “My niece, Lil’ Jeannetta, was a wonderful child who was all about peace and love, and showed her love through giving,” said Walton. “I’m elated to see the legacy and spirit of my mother and grandmother’s service to others in the community live on through this program in honor of her.” Walton is Brown’s dad, a former CEO of CYD, and often played the role of Santa at the annual event. “When the vision for this book and program was put in my heart and mind, my first text was to my dad,” said Brown. “He’s been an invaluable partner on this journey to have an impact in our community while honoring the memory of a little girl with a big heart.”

SOULSTIR is also partnering with United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County on the Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Gifts of Love program as an expansion of United Way’s current Holiday Giving Tree program. In this first year, the collaboration aspires to provide gifts to every child at three elementary schools within the Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership. The evolved Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Gifts of Love program consists of distributing holiday gifts to each child before Christmas (including a free copy of Little Netta’s Gift), and hosting a birthday party and book reading event for children from participating schools and their families on December 27, 2021. “Jeannetta’s story is such an inspiration, reminding us all how powerful simple acts of kindness can be,” said Amy Lindner, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “We are extremely proud to partner with Mike Brown, his family, and SOULSTIR to ensure that children in our community experience the joy of the holiday season.”

Books are available for preorder at and donations toward the program can be made at


SOULSTIR is a social enterprise that exists to enrich lives as a premier creator of experiences that inspire empowerment and action. For more information, visit:

About Elder Charles L. Walton

For more than 40 years Elder Charles L. Walton has dedicated his life to helping youth and families in our communities.  He utilizes his skills, knowledge and resources for the betterment of the world through his actions as an Elder, consultant, community leader and activist, music producer, composer, musician, television producer and servant to those in need. 

About United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our local community. Learn more at:

For more information contact:


Mike Brown

Founder and CEO, SOULSTIR


Phone: 574-213-3429


Elder Charles L. Walton

Owner, Walton Consultant Services


Phone: 414-204-3937


Dan Herda

Director of Communications, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County


Phone: 414-263-8149

Lil' Jeannetta Robinson

Little Netta's Gift