The ‘Life Celebration’ of radio legend and activist E. Steven Collins

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The last day of summer here in Philadelphia was bittersweet.  With a picturesque sky ushering in the end of the season, hundreds gathered inside of Sharon Baptist church as Radio One hosted a memorial service to celebrate the life of radio legend and community activist E. Steven Collins.  He passed away suddenly on September 9 at the age of 58, and is survived by his wife Lisa and two sons, Rashid and Langston.

Collins, remembered by many during the service as hardworking, compassionate, and an advocate for educating others, worked in radio/media for 40 years.  He most recently served as Radio One’s director of urban marketing and external relations and the host of “Philly Speaks,” a weekly broadcast that featured several distinguished local and national guests who opined and debated various topics.

The most poignant thing that was apparent, during his memorial service, was the unity that was promoted by E. Steven Collins and his way of living.  I have not witnessed many that can bring together so many persons of varying political affiliations/opposing views in celebration, yet the life E. Steven Collins lived displayed just that.

Radio One and TV One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes said what she would most remember about Collins was his commitment to education and educating others.  In his honor, she and Radio One have started a memorial scholarship fund at his alma mater Temple University. Donations can be made here or by mailing to the E. Steven Collins Memorial Scholarship Fund, Temple University, P.O. Box 827651, Phila., PA 19182-7651.

An official proclamation was given by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who declared Saturday, September 21, 2013 to be E. Steven Collins Day.  In addition to the gallery above, which includes beautiful photos by talented photographer/writer Craig Carpenter, please check out my Examiner article with dynamic color shots by Monica Lyons (Sista Pics) here.  You will also be able to read remarks by other celebrities and dignitaries regarding friend, colleague, and family man E. Steven Collins.


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