NashvilleBusiness.Net 100 Leading African Americans 2018 Recipient: Judge Rachel Bell

Click Here To Listen Nashville Business 100 Leading African Americans Judge Rachel Bell

Judge Rachel L. Bell is a third generation Native Nashvillian and proud graduate of Hillsboro Comprehensive High School, where she was a stellar basketball player. Judge Bell received a NCCA, Division I-Women’s Basketball scholarship to Auburn University and finished her collegiate career at The University of Memphis earning her Bachelor of Science in Education and her Juris Doctorate Degree from Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

In 2012, Judge Bell, was elected, General Sessions Court Judge, Division VIII (8) and unanimously re-elected in 2014 to another term. In August, 2014, Judge Bell was elected by her peers to be the Presiding Judge over the Davidson County General Sessions Court for a one (1) year term and re-elected to a second term in August, 2015 to serve until September 1, 2016. Prior to her election to the court in August 2012, Judge Rachel was the Managing Partner of Bell & Kinslow, PLLC and COO of Pinnacle Title & Escrow, LLC with offices in both Bordeaux- North Nashville and West Nashville.

Shortly, after taking the bench, Judge Bell started working on pilot projects to establish the General Sessions Music City Community Court, Division VIII (8), by joining the TDOT Adopt-A-Highway program committing to a portion of Highway 41A (Clarksville Pike) in Davidson County to establish the Judge Rachel L. Bell Beautification Project; a summer literacy program called R.E.A.C.H. (Reaching Every Aspiring Child’s Horizon) for rising 1st-4th graders and the FUTURE internship program hosted during the fall, spring and summer for rising 11th & 12th graders. The court conducts Saturday dockets that also bring expungement clinics to the community partnering with the TN Administrative Office of Courts and the TN Supreme Court’s Faith and Justice Alliance initiative for better access to justice. The Community Court was established in 2012 and its mission is to focus on preventive, rehabilitative and restorative justice initiatives to move the needle for marginalized people. In 2016, Judge Rachel became the first active judge certified with the National Safety Council to teach Alive at 25. In 2018, the Court entered into a partnership with the Ring the BELL Foundation, Inc. and the Urban League of Middle TN to launch the C.A.R.E. program, which focuses on Creating Avenues for Restoration and Empowerment for offenders in their last 3 months of supervised probation, that are compliant and have not received any violations. Her belief is that, “Justice Does Not Stop at the Courthouse Steps!”

Judge Bell is a member of New Covenant Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.- Nashville Alumnae Chapter, Top Ladies of Distinction- Nashville Capitol City Chapter, GROW (Golfers Recognizing Opportunities for Women), Napier- Lobby; Nashville; Tennessee and Stonewall Bar Associations, Lawyers Association for Women, League of Women Voters, WIN (Women in Numbers), DCDW (Davidson County Democratic Women), IMF (Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship), Women’s Political Collaborative, NAACP, Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the Bordeaux-North Nashville Chamber of Commerce and CABLE.

Throughout her personal and professional life, she currently and previously served on several boards such as Hands on Nashville, Davidson County Industrial Development Board, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, (JDRF), Golfers Recognizing Opportunities for Women (GROW), Women in Numbers (WIN), Disciples Village, Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce, East Nashville Hope Exchange, Disciples of Christ National Convocation Board of Trustees and National Hope Partnership for Transformation Trustees and Board Advisor for Kaplan Career Institute. Judge Bell is also the proud founder of the Ring the BELL Foundation, Inc. and the co-founder and Board Chair for the Bordeaux-North Nashville Chamber of Commerce.

In 2017, Judge Rachel married her wife, Dr. Dorsha, an Emergency Medicine Physician, becoming the 1st openly gay Judge in Nashville, TN. Judge Rachel and Dr. Dorsha are Co-CEO’s of Solutions NOW, Inc. and founders of the “i am . . . just human.” movement.

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