CHAPTER ORGANIZER: lafayette
Marcus 'Cha-Chi' Simmons is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a formerly incarcerated person who endured a lengthy prison sentence as well as difficult parole. He has never forgotten the mental, physical, and spiritual strength that he had to acquire in order to survive the trepidation of incarceration. From this strength he has been able to keep a promise to himself, his mom, and his God to do his part in halting mass incarceration. He is a community activist who currently sits on the Community Relations Committee with the Lafayette Police Department, where he offers advice on how to approach certain situations in underserved communities. He often goes back into prisons to empower and instruct those still in confinement to recognize the various traps set forth by the criminal (in)justice system. He is a welding instructor as well as a student at South Louisiana Community College, with goals to become a life coach, mentor and counselor. Simmons is also a certified personal trainer whose passion for health and fitness began in prison as a method of survival. Now, he's a successful owner of Correxercise, a health and fitness company that is geared towards self-preservation and longevity. As an agent of change, he has been recognized throughout underprivileged communities with various awards. He now joins VOTE as a community organizers for the greater Lafayette region.