Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyara Murry.
Kyara, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
At a young age, I knew I wanted to be a woman of influence and an advocate for change. As a black woman attending predominately white institutions, I made it my mission to not only continuously raise the standard for myself. Raise the standard of who and what a black woman could be in predominately white spaces but also create avenues for others of color to achieve the goals they have set without being judged by their skin tone.
I grew up in a small town called Janesville, WI. In Janesville, WI, there were very few students of color enrolled in the school district. As such, those who were in the majority felt it necessary to make that fact clear that students of color were the minority. There were many instances in which I experienced racial discrimination. Every tryout, audition, or student election I interviewed for, did not result in a review of my credentials or readiness for the positions but instead how capable could I be in (as it was explained to me) “not usually a black kid thing”, as if my skin tone was an indication of how successful I would be in the position. Instead of embracing the diversity I, as well as other brought to the classroom, it was viewed as a disadvantage.
In the words of my mother, “If no one gives you a lane, you’ll sometimes just have to make one for yourself”. In response to those who sought to see me quiet, my mother and I created two organizations (Sisters Empowering Sisters and Brothers Reaching Out) for young women and men that welcomed diversity and demanded change through education. The programs allowed students to be themselves with no judgment. Students of color were able to receive mentoring, financial assistance, and attend counseling sessions. SES and BRO made a significant impact in creating a positive, diverse environment for students of color. The program was implemented in each of the middle and high schools in the city of Janesville, WI. At this stage in life, I realized that my purpose was to inspire, educate, and uplift others through advocacy.
As an undergraduate student at Tennessee State University, I again felt a compelling urge to lead those who felt voiceless but still deserved change. By running for the student-elected positions in the Student Government Association, I knew I would be able to directly advocate the will of the student body to the highest levels of the university’s faculty, administrators and staff. In my position as Representative at Large and Speaker of the House of Representatives for Student Government Association, I was able to assist faculty with writing grants, fundraising, lobbying legislators and organizations that would aid in reducing the rate at which students had to leave the university due to financial constraints. In addition, I was also able to assist in creating a new safety and security plan for our campus, during a time when our campus was plagued non-student related mischief.
In keeping with my mission of continuously creating access to different avenues, I was able to hold one of Tennessee States first student ran black expos, which allowed a variety of black-owned businesses, nonprofits, and career builders to assist students with resume building, internship opportunities, and in some cases conduct interviews for full-time positions post-graduation.
Upon graduating from Tennessee State University, I was afforded the opportunity to be a part of the first HBCU initiative with Columbia University. This initiative was created to open access to students of color in corporate America. I used this opportunity to be an advocate for minorities at an Ivy League Institution. I was also able to sphere head, the first “I Am Historical, Black History Gala.” The gala was dedicated to teaching others about Black culture, as well as recognizing black professors, students, and community activists that create access and greatly influenced the lives of the students of color at Columbia University.
In the words of Chinua Achebe, “Give me a place to stand and I shall move the earth.” In continuance of my education, I participated in a Master of Law program at Washington University at St. Louis. Currently, I attend Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Throughout my life, I have proven that I am willing to accept the challenges of being an agent of change. I believe I have so much to learn in this next chapter of my life which will allow me to continue my goal of moving the earth.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has not been smooth, but what truly successful person has not gone through obstacles? One goal I strive to achieve is to truly be transparent with my clients, friends, family, and mentees. I struggle every day to figure out what I can do to be a better person, businesswoman, and humanitarian. In the legal professional, there is something you can learn every day, not one person says that they have memorized every single law, every single amendment or article of the constitution. It takes consistent research, study habits, and resources to acquire the necessary tools to ensure that your task is completed as efficiently as possible. I graduated from Tennessee State University in the spring of 2017. Throughout my undergraduate career, I planned to attend law school straight of out undergrad. Unfortunately, that was not the plan God had for me. I got a job at a law firm and I planned to take a year off and study for the LSAT and attend law school the following year. Two weeks prior to graduation, I went to the career center to say goodbye to one of my Sorors and mentors. She asked me what I had planned after graduation and I began to tell her about my failed attempt to go to law school. She proceeded to inform me about a fellowship in which an Ivy League Institution created to recruit the top 20 HBCU students around the United States. The application deadline closed a month prior to my knowledge of the fellowship but my Soror encouraged me to apply anyway. I applied for a master’s program at Columbia University in May of 2017 and proceed with my original plan of working and preparing for law school. In late June of 2017, by grace, I got accepted into Columbia University with a full-tuition scholarship, paid housing, and stipend in New York City. Upon completing my Masters, I attempted to go to law school again. This time I really invested time into making sure I went to the school of my choice. I applied for ten schools in which I was waitlisted for five schools and denied by five schools. At this point in life, I felt very discouraged. I began to create a new life plan so that I could still be in the legal field without a Juris Doctorate. I packed my bags and moved to Atlanta, GA to figure out what was next for me in life. I was 23 years old with two degrees, struggling to find a job in my field and figure out what is next for me in life. I was blessed with a job in my field, as a paralegal, and decided to enter a Master of Law program so that I would still be certified to practice certain areas of law. As my journey with Washington University at St. Louis began and I continued working full time at the law firm, I asked myself are you truly happy? This is when I decided to stop playing a pity party for myself and decide to make the necessary measures to restore my joy so that I would have the strength to try again. I re-applied for law school and began the formation of my own business. I realized that I am most happy when I can control that events around me, whether that’s the work environment or the moral mindset of the people you conduct business with. Proudly, I now attend full-time Juris Doctorate program at Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law while also expanding my business. The road is not easy, but I continue to run the path every day.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about SelectThreeConsulating – what should we know?
KJM & Associates Consulting is a legal and business boutique that focuses on entertainment, business, private client matters, and nonprofit management. The firm provides legal and business services to clients throughout the United States. Founded in 2019 by Managing Partner/CEO Kyara Murry, the Firm implements legal and business strategies in its representation of individuals and entities that seek more than a contract reader/reviewer. By assisting and advising clients in the structuring or restructuring of their businesses and performing the necessary due diligence therein, the Firm assists in transforming its client’s objectives into measurable results and actions that promote growth, integrity and best business practices. In addition, the Firm acts as a zealous advocate to promote and/or protect its clients’ interests. Our business clients include entrepreneurs, start-ups, non-profits, investor groups and executives who hire us on behalf of small and large companies. We assist clients in all stages of their business life cycle — from idea to formation to operation to funding to expansion and, if necessary, dissolution. As a legal and business boutique, we work very closely with start-ups and seed and early-stage companies to help them memorialize their expectations and obligations and support them as they grow and refine their business and marketing strategies for rapid growth. We leverage our relationships and people skills beyond the documents, which gives our clients the opportunity to potentially expand their business internationally.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Failures and disappointments are going to happen occasionally, no matter who you are and what industry you’re working in. Sometimes these will be your fault, and sometimes they won’t. The one thing that all failure scenarios have in common is that you can move on from them. No matter how embarrassing it may feel, or how dire, all you can do is accept that things happened the way they did, understand why things happened what they did, and learn what you can do next time to help avoid the same kind of catastrophe.
- Phone: 662-542-0387
- Email: Kymurry@gmail.com
- Instagram: @kymurry
- Twitter: @kymurry