Chris Ervin was born in the Bronx. His biggest hero is his mother, a single mom, nurse, and shop steward. His family relocated to Columbia, Maryland, in 1984, where he finished his senior year at Hammond High School.

After high school, he joined the Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Geiger. After honorably discharging from the Marine Corps, he attended the University of Maryland at College Park, where he intended to study criminal law—but was sidetracked by incarceration.

Once he regained his freedom, he dedicated his life to rectifying his mistakes by helping people thrive in the same adverse conditions he knew too well. He studied urban planning at Coppin State University, earned his commercial driver’s license (CDL), and made a career as a truck driver.

In 2015, he founded the Lazarus Rite, a reentry job training program which has helped nearly 100 citizens returning from incarceration change their lives and join the middle class. He is a tireless organizer and advocate, who has worked with legislators in the Baltimore City Council and the Maryland General Assembly to craft legislation.

He was instrumental in the passing of Maryland’s 2016 felon enfranchisement law and Maryland’s first ever law, in 2018, which allowed for nonviolent felony expungement. He is an avid environmentalist, especially passionate about moving Baltimore towards a zero-waste future. His ideal day includes petting his cat, riding bikes with his family, and watching the latest superhero movie.