Thank you to those that joined us in Chicago for the 2024 NARS Annual Meeting!


Sherman "Dilla" Thomas

CEO & Chief Historian, Chicago Mahogany Foundation

Chicago historian Dilla, as he is affectionately called, is a fascinating blend of modern historian, cultural worker, and public employee. Dilla has become a Chicago social media sensation
by going viral on Tiktok. His 60 second history videos on everything Chicago have been viewed over 8 million times, and he has amassed a following of 150K followers across all platforms. Dilla has been featured on all manner of Chicago media and has also appeared nationally on both The Today Show and The Kelly Clarkson Show. Dilla is a proud life long resident of Chicago’s South side and he lives by the saying that “everything dope about America comes Chicago.”

In 2022, Dilla was awarded the Uplifting Voices Award from the Public Narrative. The recipients of this award are recognized for elevating the voices of people in communities. They use their own platforms, influence or access for the advancement of Chicago communities that are under-resourced and under-heard.

Also in 2022, the city of Chicago announced that Dilla and his company would be one of 61 recipients to receive a grant from the city designed specifically to support neighborhood vitality. Chicago Mahogany Foundation is using those funds to establish a home base for their company in the former home of Margaret Burroughs, artist and co-founder of the DuSable Museum.

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