Episode 217: Mother and Activist Fighting the Fentanyl Epidemic – Gwyn Brown

“I lost part of my soul when Laird died.”

On July 1, 2023, Gwyn received a call from her ex-husband that their son Laird had died. Laird died of a fentanyl overdose – from just half a pill. The devastation that followed Laird’s death was devastating and extreme, not just for his family, his friends, and his girlfriend, but also for the entire community. 

Now, nearly a year later, while Laird’s siblings and parents are still struggling to cope with his loss, and his closest friends battle daily to merely survive after his death – Laird’s mother, Gwyn, has become an activist and advocate – who has dedicated her life to combating the fentanyl epidemic.  

In the days after Laird’s death, Gwyn began the first of many interviews with local, national, and international TV, newspaper, and online publications. Interviews and op-eds focused on the devastating loss of her son, education about fentanyl use, and how deeply fentanyl had become entrenched in the community, especially in the school where her son went.

About ten days after Laird’s death, a suspect was arrested on a ‘death by distribution’ warrant. The suspect was initially given a $100,000 bond; however, within hours, the bond was dropped to $50,000, and the suspect made the $5,000 bail in less than 24 hours from his arrest. Unfortunately, despite having photographic evidence and cell phone records corroborating the drug buy, the ADA declined to prosecute. Due to this legal sucker punch, Gwyn began driving change on two fronts:

#JusticeForLaird: a grassroots campaign, in partnership with other Fentanyl focused nonprofits, driving legislative change at the local and state-level.

#LiveForLaird: educating teens and their parents about fentanyl, how drugs have become exponentially stronger over the past 30 years, and how to ask for help.

Still working through crippling grief daily and dreading the first anniversary coming up, Gwyn is determined to make a difference – and she is. She is truly a 1 Girl Revolution!

Gwyn joins The 1 Girl Revolution Podcast this week to share her heartbreaking and powerful story, and she shares how she is turning her heartbreak and grief — into an initiative and activism that is dedicated to help others and bringing an end to the fentanyl epidemic in America.

In this episode, you’ll hear: 

  • Gwyn’s life story and about her life before she became a mama
  • About Gwyn’s children and her life as a mama;
  • The story of the devastating day when she found out that Laird had died by Fetanyl;
  • How Gwyn found the strength to use her voice and dedicate her life to help others as we combat the Fentanyl epidemic in our world;
  • About the incredible work that Gwyn is doing to raise awareness and bring an end to the Fentanyl epidemic in our world;
  • And so much more!

Listen and Subscribe: Don’t miss this inspiring episode – and so many others! Listen to The 1 Girl Revolution Podcast on #ApplePodcasts, #Spotify, #YouTube, and subscribe to stay up-to-date with our latest episodes. Join the movement to empower girls and change the world, one story at a time!

For more information on Gwyn and her incredible work, please visit: https://epic-minds.com/speaker/gwyneth-brown/ 

For more information on 1 Girl Revolution, to listen to all of our podcast episodes, watch our Emmy-nominated documentaries, and more, please visit: www.1GirlRevolution.com

More To Explore


Episode 219: Mend on the Move – Joanne Ewald + Sam Seelhoff

This week on The 1 Girl Revolution Podcast, we welcome Joanne Ewald, the founder of Mend on the Move, and Sam Seelhoff, Mend on the Move’s Executive Director. Mend on the Move is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers and employs women survivors of abuse by creating jewelry and other beautiful goods from salvaged auto parts and car seat leather.


Episode 218: CEO, Producer, and founder of Marvin Cares for Kids – Jacqui Pitman

On this week’s episode of The 1 Girl Revolution Podcast, we welcome Jacqui Pitman – CEO, producer, advocate for children in foster care, and founder of Marvin Cares for Kids – a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide guidance, resources, and opportunities to foster youth, empowering them to realize their full potential. 

The 1 Girl Revolution Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, YouTube, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

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