Blue color background with a person holding a tablet device

Mike-at-the-Mic: Giving People with Brain Injury a Speaking Platform

TBI survivor Mike Greenwald facilitates online panel discussions

By Olesya Iosipchuk, Research Assistant, Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research

Man with white shirt and grey sweater vest with a mustache
Mike Greenwald facilitates

the popular virtual platform

Mike-at-the-Mic, which

allows individuals with brain

injuries nationwide to share

their opinions and connect

with others.


People’s lives are often governed by their passions. Michael Greenwald is not an exception. Working as a science teacher for many years, Mike found comfort in guiding and supporting his students of various ages. During his classes, he always tried to give students extra guidance and inspire them to dig deeper and explore topics of their interest.

Mike’s passion for teaching never went away, even after sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In 1992, Mike joined his good friend, Miriam Goldman, the first person with brain injury to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey, on VOICES (previously known as the Council for the Head Injury Community). Members of the council organize various seminars and social events to educate and advocate for the rights of people with brain injuries. Not long after this, inspired by the famous show, “The Phil Donahue Show,” Mike started “Mike-at-the-Mic.” The series of interactive panel discussions quickly became an important part of the Brain Injury Alliance as it allowed people with brain injuries to vocalize their opinions and connect with others with similar experiences.

As the facilitator of the discussions, Mike felt like he was back in his classroom in front of his students. He was excited to learn new information from the panel members and share this knowledge with the audience while infusing it with his humor. To prepare for each session, Mike asks people involved in the group to come up with their most burning questions, and after careful consideration, he selects a few. The topics range from relationships to insurance, specifically anything people with brain injury would want to discuss. But the next question is, who should the panel members be? “It would have to be someone knowledgeable about the topic. And someone who was a good person to talk to in public, it is not that easy to speak in public,” says Mike. The series attracts people from different backgrounds, and anyone who is interested in learning more about brain injury is welcome. Each episode addresses several topics, featuring expert panelists in their respective subject matters.

In 2019, the series started taking place over Zoom. However, that did not interfere with Mike’s plan. “Mike-at-the-Mic” gained even more popularity as the virtual platform allowed people across the country to join the conversation. Additionally, people who didn’t feel comfortable speaking in front of a huge audience could share their opinions from the comfort of their homes. To this day, “Mike-at-the-Mic” continues to own a powerful platform that gives voice to individuals who live with brain injury.

Mike’s passion for education allows the voices of people with brain injury to be heard.


Scan the QR code below to view the most recent “Mike-at-the-Mic” session entitled, “Transition to the World After Brain Injury.”

QR code