Dwayne Collins, a former president of the Charlotte Chapter of the NAACP and chair of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, passed away Sunday. He was 51.
Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on September 27, 1967, Mr. Collins was raised in Charlotte and graduated from Garinger High School and Johnson C. Smith University. His activism began during his college years as part of the Messengers of Truth, a campus group in the late 1980s.
Mr. Collins continued on to co-found Citizens for Justice in the aftermath of the 1993 killing of Windy Gail Thompson, an unarmed African-American motorist who was shot by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer. Over the next 15 years, Mr. Collins served as president of the Charlotte Chapter of the NAACP and chair of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he was a plaintiff on behalf of Black families in Charlotte-Mecklenburg seeking to preserve court-ordered school desegregation. Along the way, Mr. Collins received many honors and awards, including recognition as one of Charlotte’s Most Influential Black Men by Charlotte Pride Magazine.
Aside from his relationship with his two sons, Salim, 27, and Omari, 25, the pursuit of justice was the most important element of Mr. Collins’ life. His efforts to make the Charlotte community more equitable and inclusive continued up until the weeks before his death. He addressed issues ranging from environmental burdens affecting the western half of Mecklenburg County to a call for greater involvement of Black fathers in the education of their children.
Mr. Collins entered ministry in July 1992 and was a faithful member of Greenville Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church.
Clothing was also a passion for Mr. Collins, as reflected in his ownership of Sartorial Servant Wardrobe Consulting. He believed that “dress is the outward expression of a man’s emotions.”
Mr. Collins is survived by his sons and a host of family, friends and fellow foot soldiers in the struggle for progress for all people.
Services for Mr. Collins will be held on Friday, August 30, at Greenville Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, with a viewing at 11 a.m. and the funeral service at noon.