Sibling Support Network, St. Louis, MO

Founder and Executive Director

May 2015-current

As founder and executive director of Sibling Support Network, I'm responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization. I perform the duties of lead investigator on the "Loss of Sibling to Violence," survey, develop on-the-ground, and online outreach efforts, and facilitate, and maintain community, and stakeholder partnerships. Currently, I'm the on-staff adult Mental Health First Aid instructor, and Community Health Worker.   

InPower Institute, St. Louis, MO

Storytelling Fellow/Founding Faculty

August 2017-current

In my role as storytelling fellow at InPower Institute, I was responsible for putting on programing that engaged community members in the art form of storytelling. My programs ranged from explorations in folklore of the African diaspora to conducting workshops on the impacts of advertising images and messages to founding Black Womxn Playwright Workshop, a 6-week intensive workshop series to discover new voices, and cultivate talent in playwriting. Appointed to founding faculty in September of 2019, I am responsible for the InPower Institute Living Library Archive, to capture the stories, histories, medicines, and mythologies of the people of St. Louis, MO and surrounding areas.    

Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, OR
Copywriter & Account Planner 
June 2009-May 2011
Worked as a copywriter on Nike Running- Global, Nike Foundation- Girl Effect, Target- TargetBaby, Coca-Cola- BET online, on-air, and print, and American Indian College Fund. I served as account planner on Target holiday session, and P Fresh- Target's supermarket offering.    

Burrell Communications, Chicago, IL
Junior Copywriter 
June 2005-May 2008
Concepted campaigns across a diverse range of media, brand voices, and clients. Created film, print, radio, and on-air content pieces. Brands included Verizon, Olay, Toyota, Allstate, Courvoisier- Global, and McDonald's.  

 

 

The Marcus Graham Project, Dallas, TX 

Instructor & Curriculum Creative Director 

May 2008-September 2013

As curriculum and creative director of The Marcus Graham Project (MGP), I was responsible for developing the iCr8 Summer Bootcamp, the flagship program of the organization. Being an instructor, and a part of the MGP executive team gave me the opportunity to hone my leadership, and management skills, and to mentor and nurture the next generation of communication arts professionals.  

 

 

St. Louis Community College- North Campus, St. Louis, MO 

Community Health Worker Program 

April 2019-June 2019

W+K12, Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, OR

Creative Direction & Account Planning Concentration

May 2008-May 2009/ Class WK12.5 

Miami Ad School, South Beach Miami, FL 

Quarter Away: Minneapolis, MN, & London, England, UK 
Certificate, Copywriting 
Class of 2005

St. Louis Community College- Forest Park, St. Louis, MO

Commercial Photography & Creative Writing 

January 1998-May 2001

Transferred to Miami Ad School in 2002

St. Louis Regional Arts Commission

2019 Artist Fellow- Literary Arts 

St. Louis Visionary Awards

2018 Outstanding Working Artist Honoree 

DELUX Magazine & Maryville University 

2018 50 Most Inspiring Women 

DELUX Magazine & Mercedes-Benz 

2017 Power 100 Recipient 

apexart International Arts Fellow 

2016 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

TED Ads Worth Spreading Award 

Nike Foundation, Girl Effect, "The Clock is Ticking" 

2011 Long-winded spot 

Chicago International Film Festival Award- Silver 

2007 Verizon, "History in the Making, " featuring poet J. Ivy 

 

Described as a multipotentialite, St. Louis native, Cheeraz Gormon is a cross genre writer, multi-medium storyteller, and public speaker whose work spans across the art forms of poetry, essay writing, photography, film production, music, and advertising. She is a community centered social entrepreneur, and helping professional devoted to the visibility, care, and healing of underserved, and marginalized populations. 

As a poet, and storyteller, Cheeraz has opened for Dr. Cornell West, Dr. Dennis Kimbrow, MacArthur Genius honoree, Dr. Deborah Willis, and has hosted events for Left Bank Books in St. Louis, MO, and St. Louis Public Radio. She is a 2x TEDxGatewayArch speaker, and her poetry has been featured in Ebony Magazine, Huffington Post, St. Louis Public Radio, and performed on stages nationally, and internationally. Her first collection of poetry, and writings, “In The Midst of Loving,” was released in March of 2015 on the Alchemy 7 inprint to rave reviews. From 2017-2019, Cheeraz served as storytelling fellow at InPower Institute in St. Louis, MO where she founded, Black Womxn Playwright Workshop to cultivate talent, and discover new voices in playwriting. She was recently appointed founding faculty member at InPower Institute where she has launched the InPower Institute- Living Library Archive. Under the leadership of St. Louis’ first poet laureate, the late Michael Castro, she was founding committee member of the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival. For her work in, and contribution to the literary arts, Cheeraz was selected as an apexart International Arts Fellow in 2016, named Outstanding Working Artist Honoree by the St. Louis Visionary Awards in 2018, and is a St. Louis Regional Arts Commission 2019 Artist Fellow. Cheeraz’s poetry is currently featured on Yoruba Records EP, “Racially Charged,” produced by renowned house music producer and artist, Osunlade.     

  

While attending St. Louis Community College- Forest Park in St. Louis, MO for commercial photography and creative writing, Cheeraz started her career in advertising at a small ad agency named, Schomoo Creative in 1999 as the in-house photographer, and administrative assistant. In 2001, while assisting the late photographer, Pete Jones at Studio 612, she flipped to a page in the PDN Magazine advertising, Miami Ad School where she would graduate from in April 2005. Shortly after graduation, Cheeraz accepted a job with legendary African-American advertising agency, Burrell Communication in Chicago, IL. During her tenure at Burrell, she served as a copywriter on Toyota, Olay, Allstate, Courvoisier, McDonald’s, Verizon, and was the lead writer for the launch of Procter & Gamble's My Black is Beautiful, which endures to this day.

 

In September of 2008, Cheeraz was faced with a destiny dilemma which resulted in her pulling out of her job offer as oncoming assistant creative director at SpikeDDB in New York to join W+K12 at Wieden+Kennedy- Portland, OR, as a student. During her time in W+K12 she fashioned herself into a hybrid- copywriter/account planner/creative director while working on Wordstock, Blue Note Records 70th Year Anniversary, and an independent research project supported by Wieden+Kennedy- Portland, OR to explore the lifestyles, and beliefs of people who identified as urban males. Following her graduation from W+K12, she joined Wieden+Kennedy- Portland as a copywriter and account planner from 2009-2011 where she worked on Coca-Cola, American Indian Foundation, Target, Nike, and Nike Foundation’s Girl Effect. Her spot, “The Clock is Ticking,” for Nike Foundation was awarded highest honors at Nike the year of its release, and received a TED Ads Worth Spreading honor in the awards inaugural year.

 

As a staunch advocate for racial, cultural, gender, ability, and socio-economic equity in hiring, mentoring, and sponsoring practices in the advertising industry, Cheeraz served as curriculum, and creative director of The Marcus Graham Project, iCR8™ Bootcamp from 2008-2013. She continues to mentor talent in the advertising industry, and currently works as a freelance copywriting, and creative director with ad agencies around the country.     

  

Following the tragic loss of her youngest brother, John Gormon, Jr. in August of 2013, Cheeraz founded Sibling Support Network, an organization dedicated to the needs of people who have lost blood-related or fictive kin siblings to violent crime. In her role as founder and executive director of, Sibling Support Network, she speaks publicly about the impact of losing a sibling to violent crime on living siblings, and directly provides support, and referrals to those in need. In 2018, she was featured in TIME Magazine's, Guns in America issue for her work with Sibling Support Network. Cheeraz is a nationally certified adult Mental Health First Aid instructor, and member of The STL Community Health Workers (CHW) Coalition.   

TEACHING

WORK EXPERIENCE

EDUCATION

ACCOLADES

FORMAL (LONG ASS) BIO