Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League | Young & Ambitious Speaker Series
page,page-id-16227,page-template-default,ajax_updown_fade,page_not_loaded,,side_menu_slide_with_content,width_470,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-7.7,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.7.4,vc_responsive

Young & Ambitious Speaker Series

Young & Ambitious Speaker Series
Legacy of Leadership: The Next Generation


March 27, 2019
5:30pm – Networking
6:30pm – Discussion
The Chicago Community Trust
225 N. Michigan Ave


Kouri Marshall

Kouri Marshall
Co-Founder, Chi Gives Back


Ashley Kirkwood, JD

Ashley Kirkwood

Co-Founder, The Kirkwood Foundation
Founder, Mobile General Counsel
Author, The Law School Hustle
Host, The Ashley Nicole Show
2018 CRAIN’S Chicago Business 20 in their 20s

After negotiating her way to a $287,000 a year salary, making her the highest paid attorney of her rank, Ashley left it all to be a full-time entrepreneur. Now, Ashley runs her own company (Mobile General Counsel), where she helps entrepreneurs launch legally compliant businesses. Her company also provides gender, racial and generational training programs to corporations. Ashley offers unique legal services for entrepreneurs. She takes pride in creating fun DIY legal training programs such as Clapback With Contracts and Get The Tea On Trademarks. She also has a  monthly program for entrepreneurs called, Office Hours With Ash, for entrepreneurs who know they need a legal and business advisor but can’t quite fit it in the budget just yet. In short, she offers services, programs and workshops for the busy entrepreneur.


She has exhibited grit, grace, and confidence throughout her own journey to entrepreneurship and takes pride in being a transparent and sought-after keynote speaker. Her most popular keynote, The Currency of Confidence, details how, exactly, women can kick importer syndrome’s butt and negotiate a higher salary, better benefits and higher corporate contracts (for entrepreneurs). There’s a currency to confidence, and she has taught audiences around the country how to tap into it! You can find out more about Ashley at Ashley’s podcast, The Currency of Confidence, launches in January of 2019!

La’mont R. Williams, JD

La'Mont R. Williams, JD

Chief of Staff, Cook County Commissioner
3rd District

La’Mont Williams is currently the Chief of Staff for Commissioner Bill Lowry’s, of Cook County’s 3rd District assisting the Commissioner with analyzing and creating policy, community outreach, governmental affairs, and other matters throughout the district. Prior to becoming Chief of Staff, La’Mont was an associate attorney with Nyhan Bambrick Kinzie & Lowry, P.C. and focuses his practice on federal, state, and local governmental issues, worker’s compensation defense and civil litigation. He represented clients in matters before the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, the Cook County Circuit Court, and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. La’Mont handled administrative hearings and court appearances on behalf of clients.

La’Mont is an active volunteer in his community. While in law school at Loyola University Chicago, La’Mont volunteered with First Defense Legal Aid to conduct “Know Your Rights” seminars for high school and middle school children, as well as, community members. La’Mont spoke with students all over the South and West sides of the city, from Ashburn/Wrightwood to Austin and North Lawndale. As a member of the 100 Black Men of Chicago, La’Mont’ serves a mentor every Saturday on the Southside of Chicago. La’Mont serves as the site leader for the South Side Mentoring Site where he engages the mentees in all facets of the mentoring program while working with his fellow mentors to develop programming and curriculum for the entire South Side Site.

La’Mont’s activism and community outreach extends beyond his community in Chicago. He is the founder of Uniting American Communities (UAC-Chicago) with his younger brother Nathaniel Anthony Perkins-Williams. Uniting American communities dedicates its efforts to aiding the people of Flint who continue to face one of the worst, catastrophic, and man-made tragedies of our generation. Uniting American Communities works with underrepresented and under-served communities in Chicago, Illinois, Flint, Michigan, and beyond. During Thanksgiving in 2016, La’Mont visited Standing Rock, North Dakota for four days to support and the water protectors protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. La’Mont continues to support both the drive to replace Flint, Michigan’s corroded pipelines and the continued efforts of indigenous peoples, from Standing Rock and beyond, to protect water rights. Additionally, La’Mont founded La’Mont’s Lions an Illinois-based non-profit organization focused towards mentoring children in the Ashburn/Wrightwood communities. Currently, La’Mont’s Lions is planning for its first mentoring session in fall 2019.

La’Mont also teaches as an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago’s law school. La’Mont teaches Trial Practice I Applied and serves as one of the coaches for Loyola’s Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial team. Loyola’s Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial team comprises of students of color who are members of the Black Law Student Association – Loyola chapter. La’Mont is a former Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial team member turned coach for the past five years. While at Loyola, La’Mont was also a Corboy Fellow and received the inaugural James P. Carey scholarship for Trial Advocacy. He continues to give back to his academic communities to provide opportunities for students to excel and chase their ambitions.

La’Mont is a member of the Chicago Assembly, Vice President of the Just The Beginning – A Pipeline Organization’s Associate Board, and a board member for Minority Legal Education Resources, Inc. (MLER).

Kevin P. Davenport

Kevin Davenport

Founder & President of The Ideal Candidate
Program Manager, Chicago Urban League Entrepreneurship Center

Kevin P. Davenport is the Program Manager for the Entrepreneurship Center, at the Chicago Urban League. Founder & President of The Ideal Candidate NFP, CEO of Success Hub, & Human Capital Consultant for Concurrency Inc.


Kevin has over 10 years of socio-economic development, public speaking, & personal development training experience. Kevin is recognized by the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives as: Certified Nonprofit Consultant, Certified Nonprofit Executive, & Certified Development Executive.


Kevin additionally invests in his community by serving on the National Board of Directors for the LIT “Igniting Futures” College Tour & Business Mentor for Young African Leadership Initiative. He is also a proud member of the Chicago Leadership Alliance.

Serita Love

Serita Love

Founder of Success Junkie

Visit to Learn More:

The Success Junkie

Serita Love, an Englewood native from Chicago, mom, and self-professed “Success Junkie” educates the youth, by combining book and street smarts. She is a Relational, Group, and Organizational professional who has a background that includes: Community Outreach, Public Speaking, Special Events and Integrated Marketing Communications. She has worked on countless experiential marketing and guerrilla marketing campaigns for many Fortune 500 Brands such as: Starbuck’s, P&G, & Safeway, Inc.


While working specifically with the youth and women to attain their personal and professional goals, she always creates an innovative and fresh approach to every new opportunity placed before her. Serita pushes people beyond their own personal barriers, so they can get out into the world and become the person they deserve to be. She teaches them how to do just that through personal branding  and goal setting strategies. She is the author a book titled:

“The Success High: 12 Steps to Getting & Staying Ahead” which focuses on actionable strategies for achievement.

Serita has produced and participated in seminars, workshops and panel discussions in Chicago. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, reading about motivational and leadership topics, traveling, rollerskating, and doing activities throughout the city with her son, Anius (A-ny-us).

Her motto: ” It’s okay to get hooked on ambition.”

Ashton Clark, MBA

Ashton Clark

Board Member, National Black MBA
Co-Director, Sounds of Judah

Visit to Learn More:

Ashton Clark Speaks

Ashton is a storyteller, motivational speaker, information technology leader, intrapreneur and nationally award-winning entrepreneur who started his first successful business at the age of 13. He tells stories from his experiences to help others live in their purpose. Ashton is living his best life and wants you to do the same!


Ashton earned his undergraduate degree in Accounting and Engineering (Hoeft Technology Program) from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He furthered his education by earning an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Ashton is a proud member of the 100 Black Men of America/Chicago, the illustrious Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), The Institute for Responsible Citizenship, National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) and The National Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA).

Ashton is an accomplished, gospel-trained musician. He has played the piano since he was three and is currently co-director of a youth choir in Chicago.

Ashton serves on the National Black MBA Association’s (NBMBAA) Board of Directors. He is one of the youngest to be elected to such prestigious role. NBMBAA has over 11,000 active members spanning 45 chapters across the country and hosts one of the largest career fairs in the U.S.; which attracts over 9,000 attendees and 300+ corporate exhibitors.

Michelle Mbekeani, JD

Michelle Mbekeani
Policy Advisor for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office 
Forbes 30 under 30 
2017 CRAIN’S Chicago Business 20 in their 20s
Oak Park Township Trustee 

Visit to Learn More:

Michelle Mbekeani LinkedIn Profile

Michelle Mbekeani is a Policy Advisor for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. There she focuses on juvenile justice policy and reform. Prior to that, Michelle was the Community Justice Staff Attorney at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. There she focused on police reform within schools and policy reform in the area of voting rights, criminal and juvenile justice.
Michelle received her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was awarded the Tony Patino Fellowship. Michelle started her legal career in the Civil Rights Team of Equip for Equality. There she provided legal assistance to individuals living with disabilities in Illinois state prisons and Institutions of Mental Diseases.

Michelle earned her B.A. from Stony Brook University in German Language and Literature, Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies. As a former Émigré Memorial German Fellow, she worked for Germany’s State Parliament in the Department of Education and Integration advocating for primary/secondary language assistance programs for immigrant children in Germany.

Michelle was awarded Forbes Magazine 30 under 30 for her work in law and policy. In 2017, Michelle was awarded Crain’s Chicago Business 20 in their 20’s award. Michelle was elected as Township Trustee in Oak Park, Illinois in May of 2017. Michelle’s writing has been published in Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Reporter, and Oak Park’s Wednesday Journal. She has been featured for her work on CBS News, WBEZ, NPR Illinois, WTTW, the Atlantic Magazine, Huffington Post, Slate Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune.

Michelle is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Michelle was crowned the National Miss Black and Gold for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. She was also crowned Miss Black New York for the Miss Black USA Pageant. Michelle enjoys singing, cooking, reading, and writing.