Success Stories

???? Watch: Empowering and inspiring others through civil rights work with Kendra Spearman

Kendra Spearman, attorney and founder of Spearman Law, LLC and founder and Executive Director of the Justice Renewal Initiative (JRI), sits down with us to discuss how she’s finding success by making a positive impact in her Chicago community through her criminal defense and civil rights work through her firm and nonprofit – JRI.

JRI is an empowerment program designed to help support men and women, ages 18-32 with their transition out of the criminal justice system.  JRI offers support through a combination of  social services. Combining her degrees in divinity, public administration and law and leading with compassion has helped Kendra empower and inspire others . . . including us!

Together, we talked about:

  • How Kendra’s faith and Christian principles combined with her learning about racial inequities in a number of fields and how law can be used as a change making tool led her to open Spearman Law;
  • How her strong desire to encourage more young people from the west and south sides of Chicago to go to law school because we need more black lawyers and women attorneys and her desire to empower the black community through legal education led to the idea for the Junior Advocacy Program, which eventually turned into the Justice Renewal Initiative (JRI);
  • Tips and lessons learned (e.g. collaborate and be patient and flexible!) as she started JRI;
  • How you can’t help 100% of people 100% of the time;
  • How she draws hope and inspiration from the young people she works with everyday;
  • How leading with compassion is the key to real change; and
  • And how if you have a call to do something, just do it!

Watch our full conversation here????