Meet Kina Collins

Kina at an event with a friend holding a sign that says “Lady Boss.”

Kina at an event with a friend holding a sign that says “Lady Boss.”

Kina Collins is a nationally recognized gun violence prevention and healthcare advocate running for the IL-07 Congressional District seat. With a proven track record of policy making, coalition building, and working with communities to improve public health and safety, Kina is ready to represent the needs of the diverse citizens in her district and bring a fresh voice to Washington, D.C.

In 2018, Kina built a statewide coalition that helped pass historic civil rights legislation to establish The Illinois Council on Women and Girls. This council prioritizes the needs of women, including women who identify as transgender, when evaluating state policies and allocating resources. In response to the Trump administration’s elimination of the White House Council on Women and Girls, Kina was determined to create a state level council in Illinois. She traveled the state listening to the needs and perspectives of hundreds of women in community focus groups. The bill that she co-authored passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Illinois General Assembly, and was signed into law on August 2018.

Kina at the Chicago Women’s March with a sign that reads “Chicago Your Voice Matters - Vote.”

Kina at the Chicago Women’s March with a sign that reads “Chicago Your Voice Matters - Vote.”

As a national organizer for Physicians for a National Health Program, Kina has visited many communities across the country talking with physicians and medical students about the real-life impact that health care costs have on American families. Kina saw how her own grandmother struggled each month to pay for both her insulin and her mortgage. As a woman living with the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease, Kina has had times in her own life where she was unable to afford health insurance and worried about paying for her treatment. She has spoken out as a strong supporter for a single payer health care system in the United States, and here in Illinois she successfully advocated for House Bill 40, legislation that provides state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for women's reproductive health care.

Kina presenting a speech in Chicago.

Kina presenting a speech in Chicago.

Kina’s gun violence prevention advocacy started in Chicago, where she witnessed firsthand the mental, physical, and long-term health issues that friends and family have struggled with after a shooting. She served as a leader with Generation Progress, an initiative started by the Center for American Progress to bring young adults together to address issues of gun violence and criminal justice reform. As part of this movement, she helped launch the Beyond the Gun campaign and was selected to participate in the National Leadership Council for the Fight4AFuture network, which connects young people from across the country to work on actions that address the root causes of violence and inequality.

Born and raised in the Austin neighborhood, Kina has deep roots across the district and is connected to the strong values that tie Chicago’s West Side together. From a pro-Union working class family, Kina and her two brothers and four sisters grew up grounded in faith, hard work, and integrity, and the belief that when you rise up, you lift everybody in your community up with you. As a student who excelled in Chicago Public Schools, Kina graduated from Von Steuben Metro Science High School and studied Sociology at Louisiana State University as a Ronald E. McNair Research scholar.

Kina hugging a young woman during a youth rally.

Kina hugging a young woman during a youth rally.

Kina was featured in 100 Black Women of Chicago by Endure Productions, honoring her dedication to community service and leadership. She also received the 2018 Change Maker Award from Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, the Ida B. Wells-Barnett award from the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for Women, and the Women Who Dared Venita Gray Community Leader Award from the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for Women. Kina currently serves on several local boards including Women's March - Illinois, Chicago International Youth Peace Movement, and I Grow Chicago.

Continuing her commitment to lifting up women and girls of color, Kina is a youth mentor with the Chicago-based HerStory: My Sisters’ Keeper program, focused on educating girls on civic engagement and advocating for resources and funding for women throughout the community. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a graduate of the Vote Run Lead program. Kina is a proud auntie, an avid football fan, and a devoted churchgoer at the St. Martin De Porres Parish.