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June 2021 Foundation Update

An UPDATE from the 2LT Richard W. Collins III Foundation

We are incredibly excited to be launching our newsletter. Thank you for joining us on our journey to this point, and we look forward to keeping you updated on the road ahead.

We’ve got a lot to share with you about what we have been up to. We hope you will support us so we can continue our work, stronger than ever. 

Sharing a Legacy

Earlier this year, Dawn and Rick spoke with the Today Show’s Craig Melvin about their efforts to work toward a more just society and to bring to fruition LT Collins’ promise to his mother — that “the world will know [his] name.” 

Their conversation highlights the astonishing young man that Richie was, the generational commitment of his family to serving our country, and the Collins’ efforts in the wake of their son’s murder.

Melvin, moved by Dawn and Rick’s story, expressed his gratitude for “all the good they are doing in their son’s memory.”

Supporting Young People in LT Collins’ Image

Honoring and supporting the young men and women who, like Richie, have demonstrated a commitment to service by joining ROTC has long been one of the most fulfilling parts of our work at the Foundation. ¶  Richie’s Commissioning was a point of inflection. His mother, Dawn says she saw her son “go into Bowie State University as a boy but the day he commissioned into the United States Army, I saw a man. A man that was ready to serve his country. A man who knew he had a purpose and was willing to fulfill that purpose.”

  1. In May, Dawn and Rick attended two US Army ROTC commissioning ceremonies and saw the same commitment to duty, honor, and country in the newly commissioned second lieutenants, as they saw in the eyes of their beloved son.

  2. At Morgan State University Dawn and Rick recognized the ROTC program’s cadets as they were sworn in as lieutenants, gifting each of them with a “2LT Richard Collins III Challenge Coin.” Several of these newly minted lieutenants were also recipients of the State of Maryland’s 2LT Richard W. Collins III Leadership with Honor Scholarship.

  3. At their son’s alma mater, Bowie State University, they similarly congratulated the “Bulldog Battalion’s” new Army officers, in addition to the outgoing Professor of Military Science LTC Wesley Knight for his leadership and support of the Foundation.

Building Partnerships

In October 2020 representatives from Bowie State University, University of Maryland and the Foundation came together to launch a Social Justice Alliance in Honor of Lt. Richard Collins III. The Alliance, which aims to create opportunities to deepen learning and engage in direct action on social justice issues, hit the ground running.

In April 2021 this first-of-its-kind partnership held a symposium that brought scholars, students, advocates and leaders together to discuss how to meet the challenge of confronting racism, while advocating for equity. Among the symposium’s distinguished panelists was the 2LT Richard W. Collins III Foundation’s own board member Dr. Rashawn Ray, Ph.D.

Representatives from UMD, BSU, and our Foundation have already begun to plan programming for the coming 2021-2022 academic year. We look forward to keeping you updated as plans progress, and you can read more about The Social Justice Alliance here.

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