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Community Leaders Create National Impact – EP. 89

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Kina Collins is a nationally recognized gun violence prevention and health care advocate who is running for the Illinois 7th Congressional District seat in the Democratic primary. Learn more about Kina’s plans for putting working family agendas first while demonstrating that real change happens when we push forward – together! The Brave Files.



Top Takeaways From This Episode:

  • We need to give folks valid access. We need to give voters the ability to hear from candidates.
  • When you write policy, it MUST be comprehensive. It should be long-lasting and enduring.
  • It’s not just about identity politics. You shouldn’t vote for somebody just because they’re black or they’re a woman. You should vote for representation.
  • Vulnerability is brave, and running for public office certainly requires vulnerability. That willingness to be raw is what connects candidates with the community.
  • We can’t create the change we want to see if we don’t do it together as a community.

Show Notes:

A Country Ready for Change

Kina Collins is running for congress in the Illinois 7th Congressional District. While she's never been in politics she's a committed and active member of the community who works to support nationally recognized gun violence prevention and health care.

The election will take place on March 17th, 2020 and she's taking on an incumbent who has had his seat for nearly 24 years! Kina is one brave young woman.


Big things happen at a community level

A total powerhouse, Kina helped build a statewide coalition and co-authored landmark legislation that established the Illinois Council on Women and Girls. She passionately pushed to include transgender women in the bill and it was signed into law by a Republican governor! She’s, unquestionably, a young go-getter working to initiate real change in our communities and nation as a whole.


A Preventative Approach to Gun Violence

Growing up on the West side of Chicago, in the Austin community, Kina has always been surrounded by gun violence. Sadly, at just seven years old, she witnessed as child in her neighborhood was shot and killed. Tragically, she knew both the shooter and the victim and, as a result, she could humanize both situations. These were just kids in her neighborhood. Subsequently, this experience led to her life-long involvement in gun violence prevention work.


The gun violence epidemic

Kina believes in approaching gun violence as a public health epidemic. (This makes total sense when you think about it.) Up until now, the immediate approach to gun violence has always been to place more police on the streets. However, a significant shift would happen if we began to address these issues in terms of prevention. For this reason, Kina takes a deeper look at these important issues and works to implement solutions that serve the community as a whole.


A Community-Based Campaign

Undoubtedly, Kina approaches her campaign like a true leader. She believes her entire community is running alongside her. Coming from a marginalized community, Kina’s unique approach makes her a true advocate for the people. For one, she puts working-class family agendas first. While being held accountable by the community, she makes sure that everything she does has first been approved by that community. It’s true that you can’t talk about solutions without inviting the community to the table.


This is personal!

As a member of one of the most racially and economically diverse districts in the country, Kina’s connection to her roots runs deep. Certainly, she knows what’s at stake. Giving everyone in these communities a chance to hear from candidates makes all the difference. It’s through this personal connection that change truly begins.


Creating Change

Kina is currently in the process of collecting signatures in order to be placed on the ballot. Her campaign is already moving the needle and pushing issues to the left, so it’s clear that change is possible. It’s already happening! Clearly, Kina shows us that we hold the power to create the change our communities need to see.


If you’d like to donate to Kina’s campaign, you can do so here. Above all, let’s rally as a community and create change!


Other Resources Mentioned in Kina’s Interview


The Brave Files Podcast: Episode 44 – Growing Peace

The Brave Files Podcast: Episode 16 – An Ally in Verb Form

Illinois Council on Women and Girls


Giving is Good:

As an advocate for Chicago’s marginalized communities, Kina enthusiastically supports I Grow Chicago. This non-profit organization, located in the Englewood community, works to address the effects of violence and poverty through community connection, skill-building, and opportunity. I Grow Chicago is powered by the community and grown through the community’s direct involvement. In addition, the organization’s restorative and healing justice approach works to sow seeds of peace in one of Chicago’s neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.

We, at The Brave Files, personally support I Grow Chicago as well. It’s such a beautiful and important cause! Listen to our past podcast episode with I Grow Chicago founder, Robbin Carroll, here: Episode 44 – Growing Peace

Kina Collins is a nationally recognized gun violence prevention and health care advocate who is running for the Illinois 7th Congressional District seat in the Democratic primary. Learn more about Kina’s plans for putting working family agendas first while demonstrating that real change happens when we push forward – together! The Brave Files.
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About Your Host:
Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.
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