Calling herself a Social Justice Practitioner, Khalilah V. Collins is a social worker, community organizer, activist, and mother of two. While Collins currently serves as the Director of Making Connections NOLA, which focuses on creating community level strategies to enhance the mental health and well-being of African American men and boys in New Orleans, she is splitting her time between the Big Easy and Louisville as she works with ground organizers seeking Justice for Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, both of whom were murdered by law enforcement.
Earning her Masters in Social Work from Spalding University in Louisville, KY, her hometown, she has spent her professional career working to eliminate all forms of oppression. Before moving to New Orleans, she served as the Project Manager of PACT in Action, a teen dating violence prevention project, led by teens of color. She was also the Co-Director of the Kentucky Health Justice Network that focused on reproductive justice issues.
Prior to that, Collins was the Executive Director of Women In Transition, a grassroots organization run by and for poor people focused on securing the economic human right for all. In 2009, she led planning efforts of Building the Unsettling Force: A National Conference to End Poverty with over 900 attendees from around the world. Collins has served as the Co-Chair for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, a national organization working to eliminate poverty in the US. Connected to her national organizing efforts, she helped with the Social Forum process, locally, nationally and internationally, which creates a space for activists, educators, and organizers to come together about issues affecting their communities. Bringing her knowledge and experience to the classroom, she has taught at a number of colleges and universities, including in a program for individuals who are incarcerated.
Committed to her community, she has served on numerous boards and committees including the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, Urban Spirit, Community Winterhelp, Restorative Justice Louisville, and she currently sits on the board of CrescentCare Health Center in New Orleans. Understanding the importance of grassroots organizing and the need to couple that with policy change, she ran for public office in 2014. While not elected, Collins has continued to support the election of many underrepresented candidates. Her work in the community has been recognized by many, including being named as a Louisville Connector and West Louisville Connector by Leadership Louisville.