Current Leader

Derrius Quarles

Derrius Quarles
Location: Chicago, Illinois Cohort Start Year: 2020 Project Topics: Business/Private Sector, Economic Stability, Education, IT/Technology, Leadership Development, Racial Justice Populations Served: Adults (21-64 years), African-American/Black, Men's Health, Urban Communities
Co-Founder and Co-CEO
BREAUX Capital

Derrius’ vision for a Culture of Health is one that leverages the Eight Forms of Capital Model—Human, Intellectual, Spiritual, Cultural, Social, Financial, Experiential, Natural—to promote a philosophy and policy interventions that equitably advance the health and wellness of the global population.

His life and professional experience have both led him to focus on the outsized influence financial capital plays in the everyday experience of members within economically marginalized communities. Research from some of the most respected scientific, academic, policy, and human rights organizations across the globe all confirms one observation: that financial health—in a globalized capitalist world economy—plays the most significant role in the health outcomes of populations of people. When people are not financially well (although wellness can have various definitions based on context), overwhelmingly they experience sickness and death at a much higher prevalence. This observation remains true across race, education level, gender, and geography.

As the co-founder and co-CEO of BREAUX Capital, the first cooperatively owned and operated financial services platform and community for Black men, Derrius seeks to provide a blueprint to rethink how one of the world’s largest industries provides services to those who have been historically marginalized and underserved.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Fostered Child Pathways
Through the Culture of Health strategic initiative, I conceptualized and launched the world’s first arts entertainment and speaker bureau dedicated to elevating the lived experiences of adults who have recently aged out of foster care. A platform to pair recording, visual, and performance artists and keynote speakers who are recent alumni of foster care with organizations seeking talent for events, meetings, commissions, and freelance projects, “Fostered Child” will immediately serve as a nontraditional pathway to wealth generation for disenfranchised child welfare alumni. By elevating talent that brings lived experience in foster care, “Fostered Child” will increase the digital and word-of-mouth visibility for creative professionals who are foster care alumni, open pathways for wealth generation among these creatives, and facilitate the opportunity for organizations to blend child welfare advocacy into the entertainment, art, and cultural productions that they consume.

Born and bred on Chicago’s South Side as the grandson of a Mississippi sharecropper, Derrius is a 13-year foster care survivor, traversing four foster homes, welfare, and public housing through childhood. Today, he is known as a “financial prodigy” by The New York Times and has co-founded social enterprises that have collectively impacted the lives of over 25,000 marginalized families in America. His work has been covered by prominent international media outlets including The New York Times, TED, The Associated Press, Black Enterprise, CNN, and Inc. Magazine.