Colette Payne is a student at Harold Washington College in Chicago and the mother of three sons. She joined the Visible Voices group of Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM) in 2001 and has been an active member of the Leadership Council and Speakers Bureau since 2012. Her passion is to educate families to build healthier communities. In 2012 Colette testified before the Cook County Board’s Commission on Women’s Issues and participated in the Community Renewal Society’s legislative advocacy in Springfield, the state capital. She has served in a delegation to meet with Illinois Department of Corrections officials to improve prison conditions and expand community release for women.
Collette is a sought after speaker whose engagements have included the University of Illinois School of Nursing, Northeastern Illinois University’s Undocumented Resilience Organization, the University of Illinois’s Urban Medicine program, and the Unitarian Church. In December 2013, she was hired as CLAIM’s Visible Voices Coordinator, and in July of 2014, CLAIM became a program of Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA). Colette is living proof that change is possible.