top of page
My Story
| African-American Male
| Kidney Transplant Survivor

| Success/Change-maker

| Family Man

| Lawyer

| Author

Who am I? is an interesting question. 


I can use roles: I am a father, I am a lawyer, I am a husband.  I water my grass.  I drive to work.  I watch my son’s baseball games and get too invested in his performance.  I watch my daughter on stage and marvel at her ability to perform in front of people.  I see my wife giving her all in her role as a mother to our two children.  I can provide career stats: I have been a lawyer since 1999.  I graduated from DePaul College of Law and earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois. 


I am a kidney transplant survivor. I grew up in Elmhurst, a western suburb of Chicago.  I currently live in Northbrook, Illinois.  I drive too fast.  I could eat more fruits and vegetables.  I am a Black man.    I am a Cubs fan.  I love and don’t love working out.  As I write this, I am 50 years old and am working on my fear of that number.  I am learning to travel.    

These are some of the pieces of me.  


But why am I writing this?  

I started this project after George Floyd died.  I found myself in my backyard pissed off at America.  That it happened again.

I sat in my backyard, seething at injustice and heartbroken because we were again defined by our race.  Not only defined by it but hated because of it.  This was more proof we are LESS THAN.   We would never measure up to the white man because we were viewed as Black first, foremost, and in some cases, only.  I tried hard to escape this negative space surrounding my Blackness.  And now with yet another death of a Black man at the hands of the police, I confronted the fact that I was never going to escape.  

In the days I sat in that anger, I watched the squirrels running up and down trees in my backyard.  I watched birds fly and heard their songs as inwardly I raged.  Bunnies run around the yard in my periphery, eating the flowers that had started to spring.  I could hear kids playing in the background.  

It slowly dawned on me how fortunate I was.  I was sitting in a lush backyard, teeming with trees, green grass, and little animals.  There is a flowerbed next to the patio and kids playing in neighboring yards.  My vision expanded into our home—with a refrigerator and pantry full of food.  My kids have well-equipped rooms, with comfortable beds and clean clothes.  

I noticed all the things around me that made my life so comfortable.  It hit me that I lived in privilege.  That in my Black skin, I had earned privilege.  And it hit me that if I could earn privilege, in my Black skin, anyone else can too.  

That is when the project started.  I started by examining how I found myself in my backyard.  It started with the theory that the place I sat in at that moment was because of the decisions I had made (and importantly decisions my parents made).  That is empowering: that our decision-making is responsible for where we sit today.    

I want all of us to earn privilege.  I want you to know you deserve privilege.  I want you to know you can earn it, regardless of where you are right now.    

bottom of page