JANET DEWART BELL is a communications strategist and management consultant with a multimedia background, as well as experience in policy advocacy, strategic planning, fund development, media training, and education. She is a social justice advocate, activist, executive coach, and motivational speaker, with a doctorate in Leadership and Change from Antioch University. She is the author of the forthcoming Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement.
She has been a key strategist and senior executive at a number of national organizations including PolicyLink, the National Urban League, and National Public Radio (NPR). While a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, she developed and taught a course in Effective Advocacy.
As Director of Communications at PolicyLink, Bell was instrumental in developing the organization’s collaborative approach to advocacy and communications and developed its trademark “Lifting up what works.”® She was the Director of Communications at the National Urban League, where she redesigned, edited, and marketed the League’s signature annual publication, The State of Black America. Her special projects included the Stop the Violence campaign and the National Urban League/Merrill Lynch ScholarshipBuilder program. The first Director of Specialized Programs at NPR, she helped increase diversity by recruiting and training women and people of color as producers and on-air talent.
She is the former Director of Communications and Public Relations for District Council 37 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFL-CIO) in New York City, working with over 50 local unions. She was a member of two AFL-CIO delegations to Morocco and Tunisia. As the Communications Director for the National Committee on Household Employment, she helped secure federal minimum wage coverage for domestic workers.
Among her accomplishments are a local Emmy® for outstanding individual achievement (Channel 9, the CBS-TV affiliate in Washington, DC) and programming for National Public Radio honored with the Peabody award.
She chaired the District of Columbia Commission for Women and represented the District at the United Nations Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya.
An active volunteer, she serves on the boards of the YWCA of the City of New York, Teaching Matters, Plays for Living, CancerCare, and is the Vice Chair of the Women's Media Center Board.
She tweets from @JanetDewartBell.
The Real Derrick Bell's Wife SPEAKS OUT
The ED Show
The Fourteenth Annual Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society
New York University School of Law [November 2009]
The Erasure of Black Women from History with Dr Janet D Bell
Black America [October 26, 2016]