About the Alliance


Bowie State University and the University of Maryland, in collaboration with the Lt. Richard Collins, III Foundation, strives to transform our nation using evidence-based social justice models.


The Bowie State University and University of Maryland Social Justice Alliance is dedicated to eradicating the ideology of intolerance, while confronting individuals and combatting systems that normalize indifference, justify injustice, perpetuate hate and inflict violence. We are committed to inspiring, educating and empowering individuals towards ensuring social justice and equity for all. Through this alliance, the legacy, light and spirit of Lt. Richard Collins, III will forever command the mission of social justice.


 On May 20, 2017, Lt. Richard W. Collins III was murdered on the University of Maryland campus by a white UMD student. As an African American leader, scholar, and senior at Bowie State University poised to graduate, Lt. Collins was dedicated to his country through family generations of military service. His death by the hands of another student violates assumptions that young people are immune to racism and bigotry, particularly the pervasive white supremacy that informs cultural norms within the USA. This alliance brings together sister institutions of higher education impacted by the legacy of Lt. Collins.

As Maryland’s first historically Black public university, established in 1865, Bowie State University (BSU) is committed to social justice change through advocacy and action that impacts local, state and national audiences and initiatives.

As the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland, the University of Maryland (UMD) was founded in 1856 and enrolled its first Black students in 1951. Today, diversity and inclusion are central to the university’s mission as it supports research, teaching, and community partnerships to address the most pressing global challenges.

Areas of Focus

  • Social justice curriculum/program development
  • Collaborative research and grant proposals
  • Student organization on both campuses and nationally
  • Campus and community events for conscious social justice professional development
  • Content creation for national audiences and actions

Previous Events, Programs, Curricula, Content and Grants

Building Bridges: Connecting ROTC Cadets from BSU and UMD

What is Building Bridges?
  • Three-year partnership between Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School, the 2LT Richard W. Collins III Foundation and Under Armour that provides space where ROTC students from diverse backgrounds can celebrate their differences and create a deeper understanding of each other through challenge and common experiences.
  • Participating in the program are ROTC students from Bowie State University and the University of Maryland, College Park. 
  • ROTC students from both schools will be mixed up and re-grouped to complete individual and team Outward Bound challenges in one-day Insight Day and 5-day Building Bridges Expeditions that require overnight camping.
  • Under Armour committed $250,000 sponsorship towards this initiative. 


  • Bowie State University and the University of Maryland are just a few short miles apart. Yet the tragic murder of Lt Richard Collins III on UMD’s College Park campus highlighted, sadly, that the schools were worlds apart. 
  • By leveraging Outward Bound’s experience in working with the military community and successfully bringing divergent groups together, the long-term goal is to support emerging ROTC leaders with programs that build resilience, persistence, compassion and community through shared challenges in honor of Lt. Richard Collins III.

Activities (Commitment)

  • Insight Day (one-day) - 40 ROTC students (20 from Bowie State University and 20 from the University of Maryland) join together for a full day of teambuilding and shared challenges on a high-ropes course at Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School base camp in Baltimore’s Leakin Park. 
    • October 31, 2023
  • Building Bridges Expedition (five days)- Sponsored by Under Armour, 40 ROTC cadets are invited from UMD and Bowie State University (20 from each campus respectively) to the basecamp. Participants meet the crew, pack up gear and begin their five-day outward bound challenge on the Appalachian Trail concluding with a graduation ceremony to commemorate their week-long journey. All outerwear will be provided by Under Armour. 
    • June 6-10, 2022

Relevant Article/Websites

Fall Facilitation: Healing From Hate

With our full bodies, we will use experiential exercises and small group discussions to explore personal beliefs, build trust, and support members of a beloved community in learning to use differences to strengthen community relationships

To foster a creative and collaborative spirit among and between Bowie State University, University of Maryland, and this community, by cultivating an environment where differences are used to build an inclusive community that supports the interruption of oppressive patterns, individual and collective responsibility, power sharing across dominant and subordinated social identity groups, and love.Add description and details 

Date: Friday, October, 28, 2022
Time: 10.30am - 4pm (Lunch 1-1:45pm)
Location: Cafritz Foundation Theatre at The Clarice/UM

Inaugural Lt. Collins Day of Service

Together, the BSU/UMD Social Justice Alliance, 2nd Lieutenant Richard W. Collins III Foundation and The Mission Continues will join efforts to support the incredible nonprofit Intersection of Change on their Strength 2 Love 2 Farm project! We will assist the farm with fencing, cleaning sidewalks, shelving in a trailer, and installing solar lighting if time permits. Strength 2 Love 2 Farm is one of the largest urban farms in Maryland and suppliers of fresh food in the city and we are honored to work alongside veterans and residents to advance their impactful work.  

Date: Saturday, March 4, 2023
Time of Service Project: 11am-2:30pm
Bus departure from UMD or BSU: 10am (expected arrival - 3:30pm) 
Address: Strength 2 Love 2 Farm (1855 Kavanaugh Street Baltimore, MD 21217)