Labeled as one of L.A.’s top community changemakers, Cassandra Chase is a small business owner, literacy educator, and social entrepreneur leading massive grassroots efforts throughout the city. Nike recently recognized Cassandra Chase as one of L.A’s top women leaders for its 2021 Legacy Project campaign. Cassandra Chase, among five other women selected by Nike, were also featured in a national campaign with superstar Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka to empower more girls to play sports.
For the past ten years, Ms. Chase has dedicated her career to helping underserved and under-resourced communities obtain the resources needed to thrive and grow. In 2011, Cassandra Chase founded Chase Consulting Group (CCG), a boutique business consulting firm that provides strategic management, business development, and marketing services to small businesses and non-profit organizations. She also co-founded Read Lead, a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering literacy training to inner-city youth. Since its founding, Read Lead has operated in six different schools throughout the West Coast, including California and Washington. The Nike Black Community Commitment fund has supported Read Lead’s summer literacy programs for K-5 students.
Not only is Ms. Chase known for her community efforts and social activism, she is also the co-founder of the emerging vegan brands called Vegan Brunch Club and Vegan Travel Society.
As a former candidate for Lakewood City Council and a daughter of Caribbean immigrants, Ms. Chase is on the mission to transform the landscape in the community in which she lives and works. Her foundational work continues to impact residents and children. Cassandra Chase is a thought leader on topics focused on education, literacy, entrepreneurship, local politics, health and wellness, and all things related to the community of Los Angeles.
Hi, it is so nice to interview you today. What would you like our readers to know about you and the work that you do?
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about me! I am a business strategist and social entrepreneur who provides marginalized groups the opportunities and access they need to succeed. Through education, leadership, and entrepreneurship initiatives, I co-create solutions to problems that help underserved communities grow and thrive.
In 2011, I founded Chase Consulting Group (CCG), a boutique business consulting firm that provides strategic management, business development, and marketing services to small businesses and non-profit organizations. I also co-founded Read Lead, a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering literacy and leadership training to under-resourced communities.
I’m also a former candidate for Lakewood City Council and firmly believe in seeing more women and more people of color run for office and win. I’m currently a board member with California Women’s List, an organization that supports women running for office through fundraising.
In addition to my work, health and wellness are a priority for me. I created a few brands, Vegan Brunch Club and Vegan Travel Society, to help elevate the experiences for plant-based lovers.
What inspired you to pursue a career helping underserved communities?
My parents and grandparents played an integral role in my upbringing. The example they established is what I embody today. They instilled in me what the late Congressman John Lewis proclaimed when he said, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.”
I had the unique experience of joining my father in protests around the city — something that, until recently, many of us from newer generations had been removed from. Admittedly, I wasn’t always too interested in tagging along, but I began to experience the importance and impact of what is good and necessary. For me, it quickly became the right and just thing to do.
I learned at an early age that strength is found in the community. In the spirit of ubuntu, my desire to help stems from those who helped me. Ubuntu means “I am because you are.” I am blessed with many friends, community leaders, church members, family, classmates, and more who helped me believe fully in all we can do when we do it together.
What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?
Using my imagination, co-creation, and supporting a community-led vision are all aspects of the work I enjoy. I believe that by invoking those skills, we can build the world we wish to live in. We should strive to create a world where everyone has an opportunity to live their best life. I’m guided by the words and wisdom of John Wesly, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
How does it feel to be recognized by Nike as L.A.’s top women leaders for the 2021 Legacy Project Campaign?
It’s been an honor to be recognized by Nike as a Los Angeles Changemaker. I work to have an impact and be a part of positive community change. The Legacy Project is about personal and community transformation. Self-care becomes community care. We went on a multi-week journey of wellness and community action. It was an opportunity for the community and the world to learn about Black women leaders transforming LA. At the same time, we promoted the power to build strength through workouts and wellness routines on the Nike app. It’s been an incredible journey.
We were also featured in a campaign with Naomi Osaka, equipped with resources to support our organizations and provided with tools to maximize self and community care. The best part was doing all of this in the community with the LA Changemaker squad.
What was your experience like working with Naomi Osaka?
It feels surreal to be in a campaign with THE Naomi Osaka. I’m most proud of the message shared in the campaign. It’s one of supporting each other, mentoring the next generation, and ensuring we are well as a community. I appreciate Namoi using her platform to inspire young athletes of color. She is such a great role model in our culture today.
What are you currently working on?
We are working on expanding our services through my nonprofit organization Read Lead to reach more students and address the learning loss experienced during the pandemic. We are actively developing a curriculum to create an academy and a K-5 learning community.
I just launched Vegan Brunch Club (VBC), an organization that hosts curated brunch experiences and shares recipes for plant-based eaters. I’m also the founder of Vegan Travel Society (VTS), a travel community providing travel tips and resources to navigate traveling while vegan worldwide. It’s exciting to build a community that creates an inviting, informative, and fun atmosphere for a fellowship between plant-based eaters and their friends. Anyone can sign up to our email list to stay up to date on our releases!
What is a quote that you live by?
I have two I’d like to share:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined!”
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation” ~Audre Lorde.
In what ways do you feel you make a difference in the world?
Growing up, I didn’t have many examples of black women in leadership. Through my actions now, I hope to inspire people to do the things they thought were impossible; to live in the space of “can” and “will do”! I hope to serve as an example that you can and will live the life you’ve imagined.
What do you want your legacy to look like?
My life’s purpose is to create community and collaboration in education, leadership, and entrepreneurship. I want my legacy to be one of a life lived aligned with this purpose. I hope that I will have led with love, acted in joy, and was a person of peace. My legacy will be the fruition of the vision I hold for our beloved community, one where I helped it bloom.
How can our readers keep up to date with all you have going on?
You can follow me on Instagram at @ms_cchase and or follow my organization and brands at :
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.