On May 20, 2017, our son was stabbed to death. What killed him was hate, ignorance, and unfounded fear. America continues to struggle with an inherited national disability that has caused black lives ultimately to matter less … far too long for so many fellow citizens.
Richard was a loving, patriotic and thoughtful young man who eagerly embraced new challenges. His was a strong sense of purpose, having just embarked on a military career. He was determined to earn his own way, hopefully, to the rank of general. There is no doubt in our minds he would have poured every ounce of himself toward achieving this goal.
As important, Richard strove to help others and ensure they felt valued. It is in this spirit we established the 2LT Richard W. Collins III Foundation. Our purpose is two-fold: First, defeat the intolerance and fear that robbed us of our beloved son. And, second, through scholarship and mentoring, ensure the success of young people of color and others.
There is no strength, honor or justification in murder. But so it is also with the devaluation of any human life by anyone of any race. It is wrong. There are no vaccines that will protect us from troubled minds and truly hateful hearts. It will require real work, a commitment to confront the unpleasant truths we resist and the courage to stay the course.
The work will pain us, but, ultimately, it frees us from being at the mercy of our lesser selves. We have lost a son. Let us not lose our nation to ignorance and hate. Join us, we need you!
Dawn and Rick Collins
Three Generations of Service
We believe service, education, inclusion – albeit race, religion, viewpoint, sexual orientation – are the hallmarks of a strong democracy and our family.