King seeks solace in organizing after brother’s death

LEARNING+TO+LEAD.+King+sitting+in+on+a+leadership+session+in+UCW%E2%80%99s+Chicago+Police+brutality+program.
Back to Article
Back to Article

King seeks solace in organizing after brother’s death

LEARNING TO LEAD. King sitting in on a leadership session in UCW’s Chicago Police brutality program.

LEARNING TO LEAD. King sitting in on a leadership session in UCW’s Chicago Police brutality program.

Photo provided by King Collier

LEARNING TO LEAD. King sitting in on a leadership session in UCW’s Chicago Police brutality program.

Photo provided by King Collier

Photo provided by King Collier

LEARNING TO LEAD. King sitting in on a leadership session in UCW’s Chicago Police brutality program.

Sam Fleming, Chicago Life Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






While most high schoolers do community service because it is a graduation requirement, one University of Chicago Charter School student is using service to empower himself and overcome trauma.

King Collier’s life changed when his older brother was shot and killed in July 2016, but through his brother’s death he learned to organize within his community and has become involved in a variety of organizations dedicated to stopping gun violence.

“I just want to try to get the community more involved,” King said. “I work with police, two of my cousins are officers, and I work in jails to reach out and try to prevent future violence.”

His brother was a close friend whose death spurred King to take action.

“My brother’s passing got to me. I don’t want anybody else to go through that,” King said. “That’s when I knew I had to get involved.”

In honor of his brother, he began an organization which holds a basketball game every May. King is already gearing up for the event this May.

“Basketball was my brother’s favorite sport and that’s actually what the incident happened over,” King said. “Every year we go to a gym. Last year it was at the Salvation Army and this year hopefully we can get it at the police academy to play a game to remember my brother.”

King has worked with mentors, family and teachers to create and organize his events.

“I put it in with my mentor at Seeds of Peace and a couple of my mentors at school,” he said. “Along with them and my family, they help spread the word.”

Although King is working toward reducing gun violence, he emphasized the incredible amount of work that is still left to be done in Chicago.

“The killing rate keeps going up. It increased by 0.5 percent last year, but the best thing we can do to deal with gun violence is to get rid of the guns,” King said.

King also takes issue with the lack of empathy from Chicagoans not on the south and west sides of the city. He made it clear that if Chicago does not find a way to address the problem of gun violence on the south and west sides, the violence will become a citywide issue.

“I feel like it is gonna expand. It’s gonna expand to the North Side and downtown,” King said. “Everyone should have the mindset to help because not only is it possible for the violence to expand and you never know, you could be the next to lose a family member.” But through all of the conversation around violence, King emphasized that most importantly Chicago is home.

“Depending on what I become in life I’m still trying to come back to here,” King said. “Even though I’ve gone through a lot of trauma here, I still wanna give back to the city.”