Ciera Bates-Chamberlain was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. She is committed to the fight for social and economic justice by strengthening communities through radical theology. As the Executive Director of Live Free Chicago-Live Free Illinois, Ciera is working with black churches to create safe, economically viable, and self-sustained black communities. Prior to Live Free Chicago, Ciera served as the senior organizer at a faith-based organization.
Ciera received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Lamar University, and a master’s in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is currently studying at McCormick Theological seminary for a master’s in theological studies. Ciera is an adjunct professor at Northeastern University, a mental health professional, and a strategy consultant. In 2013, Ciera was ordained a minister through the Church of Jesus Christ House of Prayer Inc., where she served as the church administrator for the Chicago congregation.