Doing It My Way

This CEO and Founder Is Investing in Social Impact

After her father was shot by Chicago Police, Chloë Cheyenne launched COMMUNITYx to build networks of change-agents

L'Oreal Thompson Payton
Published in
6 min readNov 25, 2019
Photos courtesy of Chloë Cheyenne

Doing It My Way is a candid ZORA Q&A series with newsmakers and changemakers in our community who are charting their own paths with conviction and defying convention.

Chloë Cheyenne is just getting started. Fresh off the success of an inaugural summit and app launch in September, the CEO and founder of COMMUNITYx, a social impact tech startup, recently tied for a $250,000 first-place prize at the Forbes Under 30 Summit.

After learning of the police brutality her father endured in 1989, at the hands of Chicago police in a case of mistaken identity, Chloë decided to make a difference. Chloë, a former business development manager at Google, started COMMUNITYx in 2018.

“In a lot of ways, my dad’s tragedy was my childhood reality. My family and I had to watch him in pain every single day because he still has a bullet fragment launched in his spine that can never be taken out, or else he’d become a paraplegic,” she says. “When I was old enough to finally understand what happened, I decided I needed to use my education and my experience to do something about issues like these. That’s how COMMUNITYx was founded.”

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

ZORA: How did your parents talk to you and your siblings about race?

Chloë Cheyenne: Race was always a big thing in my family. I’m multiracial. My mom immigrated from the Philippines when she was eight. My dad’s mom is African American from St. Louis, Missouri. His dad is Caucasian, he’s from England.

After my dad was shot, his mom moved her family out of Chicago, Illinois to Evanston, Illinois. My primary years were spent there and then my dad moved us even farther north to Highland Park, Illinois. We grew up in a place where there was nobody who looked like us and the community wasn’t always welcoming.

From my dad’s standpoint, he just wanted us to be somewhere safe, but we were always on the…



L'Oreal Thompson Payton
Writer for

L’Oreal is a freelance writer and editor who’s dedicated to uplifting and inspiring Black women and girls through storytelling. Learn more at