Darius Ballinger 's profile photo

Darius Ballinger

Founder and Executive Director , Chasing23 Youth Empowerment Group

Darius Ballinger 's profile photo
Location: Lynwood, IL
Start Year: 2022
TRHT Pillar: Racial Healing and Relationship Building


Balanced, influential, and determined, Darius Ballinger has turned trauma into transformation for the benefit of his family and the community at large. He is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Chasing23 Youth Empowerment Group, dedicated to helping young Black men develop key life skills while building the wellness and confidence needed to achieve goals for long-term success.

Darius also serves as president of South Side Prints and is author of the book, Heart of a Chaser. He currently serves on the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center Advisory Board and as youth design team co-chair for TRHT Greater Chicago Chapter.

Future Focus

Chasing23 Youth Empowerment Group’s mission is to disrupt the carceral state through transformative organizing and unapologetic advocacy. Darius believes relationship building is crucial to the work of racial equity. He is excited about the opportunity to scale the impact of Chasing23 as a vehicle to drive racial equity in Chicago using the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation framework.

Post-Institute: Transformative Action Plans

Darius plans to advocate for the support and reform of the criminal justice system based on data-driven disparities. His goal is to ultimately work towards creating a culture of health that is equitable and just for all citizens, regardless of their involvement with the criminal justice system. He plans to achieve this by developing an inclusive network, implementing training and education programs for practitioners, collaborating with stakeholders to advocate for policy reform, establishing metrics to measure impact, facilitating community engagement initiatives, and forging partnerships with shared goals of eliminating racism and promoting health equity in the juvenile justice system.


Share this bio

Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program