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Yara Shahidi Rebecca Ford Ted Banks
This year’s Keynote Address at the NAMWOLF Annual Meeting was sponsored by Scharf Banks Marmor and featured Yara Shahidi, actress, model, activist and breakout Star of ABC’s Emmy and Golden Globe Nominated Comedy Series, “Black-ish,” and her spin-off program, “Grown-ish.” Rebecca Ford, Counsel at Scharf Banks Marmor and former executive vice president for litigation and intellectual property at MGM Studios, interviewed Ms. Shahidi.
“It was an honor to speak with Yara and introduce her to the NAMWOLF family,” stated Ms. Ford. “Yara exemplifies all that is possible from today’s young adults and it was a privilege to speak with her about utilizing her celebrity platform to advance conversation and action around gender equity and diversity issues as well as important civic and educational agendas.
Ms. Shahidi launched Eighteen X 18 last year to educate and motivate first time voters to turn out for 2018 mid-term elections and upcoming 2020 election. The young star created Yara's Club in partnership with The Young Women's Leadership Schools in NYC. She served as a spokesperson for DoSomething.Org and 3M's STEM campaign, which raised funds for classrooms in need of science and tech resources, and worked with the Obama White House around STEM initiatives. Ms. Shahidi is an advocate for women's issues, including diversity in media, girls' education, and has worked with the United Nations Girl Up on global initiatives.
“We were delighted to be able to work with Ms. Shahidi for this important keynote address,” stated Ted Banks, co-founding partner of Scharf Banks Marmor. “Yara’s commitments to gender equity and community activism are in total alignment with our firm’s values and proven performance in the marketplace,” added Mr. Banks. Scharf Banks Marmor has been an active member of NAMWOLF since the organization’s inception. The Firm’s vision, tenacity and support for its lawyers has been a major factor in its success as one of the largest women-owned law firms in Chicago. The November 2014 Chicago Lawyer Magazine highlighted the firm as a “blueprint for women-owned law firms” and for the “unique quality” of its work.
“The team of Scharf Banks Marmor, NAMWOLF and Yara Shahidi made perfect sense to us,” stated Mr. Banks. “Yara had an important message to share with the NAMWOLF family who continues to support and advocate for diversity and inclusion in the business of law. We were thrilled to be part of such an inspiring afternoon,” added Mr. Banks.
Rebecca Ford (left) poses questions to Yara Shahidi at NAMWOLF’S Annual Meeting.