Chivas D. Watson


Chivas Watson is a community leader, organizer, catalyst, entrepreneur, and educator. He is the founder and director of Central Texas service agency WorkingGroup512 (WG512), which seeks to improve the delivery of justice by remaining proximate with community issues and resources. Experienced in criminal justice reform, he became an “inmate lawyer” on his way to prison in 2020, working on roughly 515 cases in 378 days served, helping 100 men gain their release, as well as himself before being wrongfully convicted.

Operating in Houston and San Antonio as well, Chivas serves as a catalyst in projects, initiatives, and startups. He runs a healthy food access program that provides rescued food to low-income and severely challenged homes and individuals in Travis, Harris, and Bexar counties. His organization also operates a furniture replacement initiative for the same demographic, and has fully furnished 300 homes in 20 months by rescuing over 5,000 furniture items in his car and with volunteers.

Discharged from parole in 2021, he continues to help refine the reintegration process for individuals after jail and prison. As a state-accredited Re-Entry Peer Specialist (RPS) and Community Health Worker Instructor (CHWI), Chivas works with 20 male and female clients between those counties, and seven who experienced substance abuse have now chosen sobriety for over 12 months.

Chivas is a successful grant writer, having earned 20 grants and procurements in the last 28 months for both his and others’ organizations. He is currently a 2023 Essential Fellow with Leadership Austin. He was a 2021 inaugural fellow of the African American Leadership Institute (AALI), a 2021 Indigent Defense fellow with a Houston-area legal nonprofit, and was elected in the Black Gold Nation’s 2022 National Leadership Election to oversee its Community Development division.