Ep 53 - Meet Chastity Lord, President and CEO, Jeremiah Program

In this episode you meet Chastity Lord. Chastity has spent two decades dedicated to DISMANTLING systems of inequity for marginalized communities.

Chastity is currently the President and CEO at Jeremiah Program (JP), a national organization committed to disrupting the cycle of poverty for single mothers and their children, two generations at a time.

JP’s proven, holistic approach begins with establishing a supportive community for single mothers to pursue a career-track, college education. Through a combination of quality early childhood education, a safe and affordable place to live, and empowerment and life skills training, families find stability to respond to the proven systemic barriers that impede social and economic mobility. JP deeply believes that families are the best owners and narrators of their lives. History has proven time and again that building infrastructure, leadership, and power for marginalized communities creates a contagion of long-term change. When single women living in poverty THRIVE, their children and everyone living in the community THRIVES.

Chastity also recently served as Chief Operating Officer at Color of Change (COC), a racial justice organization with over 2+ million members. Prior to joining COC, Chastity was the Chief External Officer of Achievement First, a nonprofit organization that operates 42 charter schools in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Brooklyn. Over five years, Chastity worked with community leaders to secure $200 million dollars, favorable expansion terms and progressive educational policy funding, helping level the playing field for poor and marginalized communities.

Later Chastity spent eight years at The Posse Foundation, a nationally recognized and MacArthur Genius awarded college access program, devoted to public high school students who show academic and leadership potential but may be overlooked by the traditional college admissions process.

Chastity’s professional north star and commitment to equity and social justice for the past two decades is influenced by her own personal experience as a first-generation college graduate. Chastity understands that education is not the panacea for inequity but unapologetically credits it to transforming how she dreams and disrupting the cycle of poverty for her own family.

Chastity has a BA in organizational communication from University of Oklahoma and an MBA in strategy and marketing from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is a 2012 Pahara-Aspen Fellow with the Aspen Global Leadership Network and serves on the board of Shriver National Center on Poverty and Law.

During our conversation we discuss:

- Getting from good to excellent

- Creating Beyonce Coachella moments in your career

- Building your network

- Passion for the work