Chama St. Louis is the Incubator Lead Organizer based in Peoria, Illinois. She’s fueled by her passion to economically empower black people. She’s obsessed with educating her people about how their civic engagement or lack thereof directly impacts their outcomes, as well as holding decision makers accountable to the communities they serve. If you open the dictionary and look up “good trouble” you’ll see a picture of Chama flashing her pearly whites. She started her civic engagement work at the age of 18 and has spent most her life thus far dedicated to black empowerment. She was previously the president and chairwoman of the Peoria Black Chamber of Commerce then transitioned into the community organizing space, as the Central Illinois Coalition Organizer before finding her home at the National Black Worker Center. As the Incubator Lead Organizer, Chama has plans to create a training curriculum for black workers to create their own black worker centers in various regions around the country, expanding the mission and fulfilling the vision of the NBWC.
Chama is an organizer by day and an aerial artist and business woman by night. She owns an aerial arts and dance studio, and when she’s not fighting for equity, she’s teaching her students how to feel empowered through dance and aerial arts. She also has as a viral aerial arts account on TikTok. She enjoys spending her free time with her children Ryann, Eliana and Pharaoh and can be found binge watching Netflix with her favorite snacks on the weekends with her partner.
Chama lives by the motto “it gets greater, later” and it serves as a reminder to stay the course, be diligent, and know that our work is not in vain.