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Charles Collins

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Information about Charles Collins

Profile image of Charles Collins

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Association Branch Chief Executive
Community Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mediterranean
Favorite Quote:
Must Be A Responsible Adult Guiding Youth.

Birthplace

Born:
11/22/1947
Birth Location:
San Francisco, California

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Association Branch Chief Executive
Community Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mediterranean
Favorite Quote:
Must Be A Responsible Adult Guiding Youth.

Birthplace

Born:
11/22/1947
Birth Location:
San Francisco
See how Charles Collins is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Community leader, association branch chief executive and Harvard trained lawyer Charles Collins was born on November 22, 1947 to Daniel Collins and DeReath Curtis James in the Fillmore community of San Francisco, California. After graduating from Tamalpais High School in 1965, Collins pursued higher education at Williams College, where he earned his B.A. degree with honors in 1969. Four years later, Collins earned his M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and subsequently his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1976.

Upon completing his education, Collins began his professional career working with the law firm of Steinhart and Falconer, and then the law firm of Berkeley and Rhodes. An active member of the San Francisco and California communities, Collins led a comprehensive study for the City and County of San Francisco in 1979 and subsequently became the deputy secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency for the State of California in 1980. Collins has also served in leadership capacities as president and chairman of WDG Ventures, Inc., a real estate development firm in San Francisco; president and chief executive officer of the Family Service Agency of San Francisco; and president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of San Francisco. In his work with the YMCA, Collins has supported its mission to strengthen the foundations of communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Collins has received much recognition for his work in community development, including the 2003 Bicentennial Award from Williams College. In 2005, Collins was named the senior vice chairman of the National Urban League. For his dedication to the organization, the National Urban League established the Charles Collins Award in his honor. Collins was the author of The African Americans, a collection of photographs recognizing the accomplishments of African Americans in various capacities. He was also the senior editor of A Day in the Life of Africa.

Collins is married to Paula Robinson Collins. They have two daughters, Sara DeReath Collins and Julia Elizabeth Collins.

Collins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2011.

See how Charles Collins is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Collins' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Collins discusses his maternal lineage and the history of their family business
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Collins discusses his maternal family history, his grandparents, and his maternal great grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Collins discusses his family's relationship with Howard Thurman and his mother's, Dereath James Collins, upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Collins describes his paternal family and his father's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Collins talks about his father's education, how his parents met, and his early childhood in San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Collins discusses his developmentally challenged brother, Craig Collins, and their upbringing in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Collins discusses the sociopolitical aspects of San Francisco, California during the 1940s and 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Collins describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, and his family's leisure activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Collins discusses his early education and his family's move to Mill Valley, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Collins describes his experience living in Washington, D.C. in the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Collins describes his experiences living in Washington, D.C., segregation, and his parents' civil rights involvement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about the shift in his perspective after returning from Washington, D.C. and his summer experience in Finland.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Collins discusses his parents' political party affiliation, and his junior high school experience and his father's work
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Collins describes his high school experience in Mill Valley, California and his classmates
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Collins discusses his teen years and the musical influences in his home
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Collins describes his college application process and experience attending Williams College in Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about his father's trade business in West Africa, and the challenges of importing and exporting and West African Politics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Collins describes his first impressions and experiences at Williams College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Collins talks about his art history education, African American Art and his relationship with Romare Bearden
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Collins describes Williams College's political and social environment
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Collins discusses his experience in the later years of the Civil Rights Movement and his extracurricular activities at Williams College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about his post graduation plans, receiving the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and meeting his wife Paula Robinson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Collins discusses researching migration and city planning in South America and Rio de Janeiro, and the death of Whitney Young
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Collins discusses cinematic depictions of Brazil and the impact of rapid urbanization in Rio de Janeiro
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Collins talks about his educational influences, time spent in Athens, Greece and transitioning to Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Collins discusses his time attending Harvard Law School, his classmates and professors
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about working with Steinhart and Falconer, and Berkeley and Rhodes
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Collins gives his thoughts on the People's Temple suicide, urban renewal and displacement, and draws connections between these phenomena
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Collins' interview, session 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Collins remembers Jim Jones and the massacre in Georgetown, Guyana
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Collins describes his position at the law firm of Berkley and Rhodes
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Collins talks about the study he conducted for the San Francisco Planning Department
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Collins describes his role at the State of California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charles Collins recalls his accomplishments at the State of California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charles Collins describes his reasons for starting Western Development Group
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Charles Collins talks about Western Development Group's construction projects, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Charles Collins talks about Western Development Group's construction projects, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Charles Collins describes San Francisco's Fillmore District, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charles Collins describes San Francisco's Fillmore District, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charles Collins remembers the 1989 earthquake
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Charles Collins talks about his book, 'The African Americans'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Charles Collins remembers John Hope Franklin
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Charles Collins describes the process of selecting photographs for 'The African Americans'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Charles Collins describes Venus Williams' photograph in 'The African Americans'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Charles Collins talks about individual photographs in 'The African Americans'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Charles Collins remembers acquiring a photograph of Arthur Ashe
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Charles Collins talks about the initial idea for the book 'A Day in the Life of Africa'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Charles Collins describes the shooting process for 'A Day in the Life of Africa'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about one of the photographs in 'A Day in the Life of Africa'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Charles Collins recalls the reception of 'A Day in the Life of Africa'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Charles Collins describes how he came to work for the Family Service Agency of San Francisco
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Charles Collins remembers his accomplishments at the Family Service Agency of San Francisco
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Charles Collins describes how he became the president and CEO of the YMCA of San Francisco
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Charles Collins recalls the state of the YMCA of San Francisco upon his arrival
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Charles Collins talks about the YMCA of San Francisco's programs
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Charles Collins talks about his work with the YMCA Sri Lanka
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Charles Collins talks about the importance of youth programming at the YMCA of San Francisco
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Charles Collins describes the growth of the YMCA of San Francisco
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Charles Collins talks about publicity for the YMCA of San Francisco
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Charles Collins describes the National Urban League's Charles Collins Award
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Charles Collins lists his organizational involvement
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Charles Collins talks about his interest in art
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Charles Collins talks about his future plans for the YMCA of San Francisco
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Charles Collins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Charles Collins reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Charles Collins reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about his family, pt. 1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Charles Collins talks about his family, pt. 2
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Charles Collins describes how he would like to be remembered