Grace Akinlemibola

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Grace Akinlemibola
File:Grace Akinlemibola Wikipedia Profile.jpg
Grace Akinlemibola
Born (1986-06-30) June 30, 1986 (age 35)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater Chicago-Kent College of Law
Indiana University, Bloomington
Occupation Business owner, Accountant, and Activist

Grace Akinlemibola (born June 30, 1986)[1] is a Nigerian-American businesswoman, civil rights and political activist, and minister. She is the former Deputy Director of Strategic Affairs to Rahm Emanuel, former budget officer at Chicago Public Schools, and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the conglomerate The Grace Akinlemibola Corporation.[2] She filed the Anti-Corruption Lawsuits in Chicago, Illinois against various public officials, public entities, and private institutions and has been a reputed voice and activist in the anti-corruption movement.[3]

Early life

Grace Akinlemibola was born in Chicago, Illinois. Both of Akinlemibola's parents are Nigerian immigrants who came to Chicago, Illinois in 1978.[4] Her parents worked while attending school. Akinlemibola's father, Josiah Akinlemibola, is a civil engineer. Akinlemibola's mother, Kofoworola Akinlemibola, manages a joint company owned by the mother and father.[4] Akinlemibola has two sisters.

Akinlemibola grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and graduated from the Math & Science Magnet of Arsenal Technical High School. She was a co-captain of her varsity tennis team in high school and her team won the Indianapolis Public Schools Athletic Conference on more than one occasion, playing the highest-ranking doubles on the team since her freshman year.[5][6][7] Akinlemibola shared the award of "Most Valuable Player" with her doubles partner during her senior year.[8] She was also a varsity volleyball player. Akinlemibola was also heavily involved in musicals, play productions, and the Technicians showchoir.[6] She was also inducted into the National Honor Society, a member of the Chess Team and Brain Game team, and founder of a debate club where she was able to get accepted into Stanford University's Junior Statesmen of America program. She was unable to attend the Junior Statesmen of America program as she was unable to afford the tuition.[5][9]

File:Grace Akinlemibola, Delta Sigma Theta.jpg
Grace Akinlemibola in December 2005

After graduating high school, Akinlemibola attended Indiana University Bloomington, where she was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.[9] She was also the President of her residence hall, a two-term President of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), and the Publicity Chair of the Gamma Nu chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.[9][10] Prior to being President of NABA, she was the Vice President, where the organization placed efforts in marketing the organization.[11] While President of NABA, Akinlemibola organized a guest lecture by the runner-up of the first season of The Apprentice, Kwame Jackson, and the team secured corporate sponsorships from KPMG, Rolls Royce, Crowe Chizek & Co. (now Crowe Horwath), Cummins Inc., Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, Katz, Sapper & Miller, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Target Corporation.[10] Akinlemibola was also a part of protesting the closing of African-American Cultural Center's Library, where Indiana University then decided to cease the closing of the cultural center's library.[12] She graduated in 2007 from the Kelley School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting at the age of 20 years old.[9]

File:Grace Akinlemibola with former Chicago-Kent Law Professor, Vinay Harpalani.jpg
Grace Akinlemibola with former Chicago-Kent Law Professor, Vinay Harpalani

Akinlemibola began law school at Chicago-Kent College of Law in the fall of 2012 and graduated in May 2015.[9] In law school, Akinlemibola was the Co-Founder for a Film Series on Race & the Law[9] and was elected Chair of the Midwest Black Law Students Association.[13] The Midwest Regional Chair is elected from the 52 student Black Law Student Association chapters from within the Midwest Region of the United States of America.[14] As Chair, she organized a Midwest Lobby Day with government leaders in Indiana was recognized by the Indiana General Assembly.[15] She also created a State of the Black Midwest booklet[16][17] with articles, poetry, and comments from students, professors, and leaders throughout the Midwest, safeguarded Illinois voting rights, implemented a new community service standard, and gained new corporate sponsors in the Indiana Pacers and Eli Lilly and Company.[9]

Akinlemibola also started a master's program in Public Policy & Administration at Northwestern University where she has maintained a 4.0 grade point average, but has yet to complete the degree program.[9]


The Grace Akinlemibola Corporation

Akinlemibola began a conglomerate corporation called The Grace Akinlemibola Corporation in February 2016.[18] She is also the owner of Politics, Strategy & Orange Juice; Grakin Corporation; Akinlemibola Films; Girl by Grace, and; the founder of the House of Grace Ministries.[19] She has asserted her company to have made over $3 million in income in its first fiscal year and the business having a net worth of over $1 billion.[20] She has also acknowledged that a majority of the income came from consulting clients and revenues from negotiating deals with one-time lump-sum cash payments that are received months later.[21][22] In counterclaims that Akinlemibola published, she further acknowledged that the amount derived from a $2.5 million commission on a financial project she negotiated and at least a half a million from revenue contracts.[21][23]

Political activism

Akinlemibola started working in politics for Rahm Emanuel when he first announced his bid for Mayor of Chicago in October 2010 after working in the accounting field after graduating from college.[24] She later had political opportunities with former Chicago alderman Freddrenna Lyle and the Democratic Party of Virginia before working with Chicago Public Schools in 2012.[9] It was during Akinlemibola's time at Chicago Public Schools that she based one of her Anti-Corruption Lawsuits.[25]

Akinlemibola also asserted a fraudulent practice by the State of Illinois that impacted certain immigrants and their children. Akinlemibola asserts it was this practice that hindered her and her parents' prosperity in the State of Illinois.[20]

Akinlemibola filed the Anti-Corruption Lawsuits with a total of seven lawsuits, potentially eight lawsuits if including a previously-filed lawsuit in 2016.[26] The lawsuits are as filed:

Grace Akinlemibola v. Rahm Emanuel, Michael Rendina, City of Chicago, Ginger Ostro, and Chicago Public Schools - filed January 13, 2017[25]
Grace Akinlemibola v. Michael Rendina, Anna Valencia, Sean Rapelyea, and City of Chicago - filed January 13, 2017
Grace Akinlemibola v. Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, State of Illinois, Illinois Supreme Court, Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar, Illinois Board of Examiners, Rod Blagojevich, Bruce Rauner' - filed January 13, 2017[20]
Grace Akinlemibola v. Chicago-Kent College of Law, Carolyn Shapiro - filed January 13, 2017[9]
Grace Akinlemibola v. Orange Lake Holdings LLP - filed January 13, 2017
Grace Akinlemibola, Hilton Wright v. Chicago Police Department, City of Chicago - filed January 20, 2017
Grace Akinlemibola v. Rahm Emanuel, Michael Rendina, Chloe Rasmas, City of Chicago, Andrew Mason, and Chicago Public Schools - filed March 7, 2017[27]

Akinlemibola has continued to file additional lawsuits as additional acts accrue and prior to the hearing of the cases on their merits. The Anti-Corruption Lawsuits contained many of the same count violations, including a 42 U.S.C. §1983 constitutional violation of the Thirteenth Amendment and the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. While the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, it has since been used in legally innovative circumstances to enforce the nature of the Thirteenth Amendment such as when this argument was used in the revolutionary Civil Rights Cases or more recently by Apple Inc..[28] After filing the complaints in the Northern District of Illinois with a corresponding Motion for In Forma Pauperis, federal judges immediately threw her cases out of court without allowing a chance for the opposition to respond, with judges intentionally assuming the wrong facts, ridiculing her without cause,[29] or throwing out the case based on obviously disputed facts in the complaint.[30] Akinlemibola is currently filing appeals, where she directly addresses these disputes. Her jurisdictional memorandum appealing the Motion for In Forma Pauperis directly addresses the fact that Akinlemibola's suppression by the federal court in hearing these cases constitutes a burden to her free speech, where "the refusal...can easily be a form of retaliation based on the grievances and speech outlined within the lawsuit."[31] In the Chicago-Kent College of Law opinion,[29] one of the judges immediately refused to consider a Thirteenth Amendment argument prior to Akinlemibola providing the legal argument that would be reserved for legal briefs after the case has been underway, claiming the complaint to be stretched "beyond legitimate bounds." While citing precedent cases, Akinlemibola has appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals specifically articulating the Thirteenth Amendment argument in all of the applicable cases, including the State of Illinois[21] and Chicago-Kent College of Law[32] cases, as follows:


File:Grace Akinlemibola, 2017 Anti-Corruption March.jpg
Grace Akinlemibola, 2017 Anti-Corruption March

On February 21, 2017, the same day that Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965, Akinlemibola organized the 2017 Anti-Corruption March in Chicago, Illinois.[33] The march began at Adams Street & Desplaines Street and proceeded to five total destinations: (1) to Chicago-Kent College of Law; (2) to Chicago Public Schools; (3) to City Hall to protest against Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Department, City of Chicago; (4) to the State of Illinois building, and; (5) ending at the James R. Thompson Center.[34] About the march, Akinlemibola said, "[I]t was more than just a march. When we marched against corruption, against fraudulent acts...we marched against xenophobia, against racism, against sexism, against fraud. No longer will we be bamboozled by a government who treats us like nothing. We marched for a better Chicago and a better Illinois."[33]

Ministerial life

Akinlemibola is a minister in Chicago, Illinois. The employee who was also a Co-Plaintiff in one of her lawsuits was also formerly homeless. Akinlemibola first met him while she would pray for the homeless in passing and she would find him in the same areas.[35] She founded the House of Grace Ministries, where part of the organization will include a temporary homeless shelter called "House of Grace." The shelter will be spiritually oriented and every individual committed to wanting to being saved by Jesus Christ. Those who will not want to take part in the spirituality of House of Grace would be referred to a reciprocating homeless shelter.[35]

Personal life

Akinlemibola remains active in political and social circles within the community. She is friends with musician/songwriter Nola Adé, where the both of them were joint board members on the 2013-2014 board of the Midwest Black Law Students Association prior to Adé graduating and Akinlemibola serving as Chair the next year.[36] Akinlemibola is also friends with state representative Marcus C. Evans Jr. who appeared in a State of Black Chicago documentary created by the Midwest Black Law Students Association and Chicago-Kent Black Law Students Association during Akinlemibola's tenure.[37]


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