Control the Controllable ®
AIA Continuing Education Units: 1.0 LU | $0
As a pre-session to the fall conference, Judge Rachel L. Bell will be speaking from her heart and sharing how to Control the Controllable ®, how to overcome obstacles and face personal and professional challenges head on. In 2016, Judge Bell experienced a very challenging time in her life facing judicial scrutiny and getting in what we call “Good Trouble”. After 19 news stories and a Pulitzer Prize award winning Investigator watching her every move, the complaints against her were dismissed by the Judicial Board of Conduct. As she says, “Justice does NOT stop at the courthouse steps!” ®
Program Learning Objectives:
● Participants will learn about the General Sessions Music City Community Court, Division VIII (8), founded by Judge Bell in 2012
● Participants will learn about several community initiatives focused on preventive, diversionary and restorative justice focused on the concept, that “Justice does NOT stop at the courthouse steps!”®.
● Participants will learn about how to break the playground to prison pipeline; to restore and rehabilitate lives by using all its power and resources to move the needle for marginalized people.
● Participants will learn how Judge Bell experienced a very challenging time in her life facing judicial scrutiny and getting in what we call “Good Trouble”.
In 2012, Judge Bell, was elected General Sessions Court Judge, Division VIII (8) and unanimously reelected in 2014 to another term, with her campaign slogan: “Nashville’s Judge serving ON and OFF the bench, Ringing the BELL for Justice!!”
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 Founder & COO of Pinnacle Title & Escrow, LLC with offices in both Bordeaux- North Nashville, West Nashville, Hermitage and Memphis, TN.
Shortly, after taking the bench in 2012, 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 establishing the Judge Rachel L. Bell Beautification Project. She also established 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 Music City Community Court’s mission is to focus on preventive, diversionary and restorative justice initiatives to move the needle for marginalized people.
In 2014, the court started conducting Saturday Court Dockets bringing Expungement/Legal Clinics & Resource Fairs to the community. In 2016, the court expanded its reach by partnering with the TN Administrative Office of Courts and the TN Supreme Court’s Faith and Justice Alliance initiative for better access to justice. In 2016, Judge Rachel became the first active judge certified with the National Safety Council to teach Alive at 25. In 2018, the Court was awarded the United States Department of Justice/Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Center for Court Innovation, Community Court Implementation Grant, to receive technical assistance in launching the C.A.R.E. Diversionary Court, which focuses on Creating Avenues for Restoration and Empowerment for offenders aged 18-30. In 2019, Judge Bell birthed the Bordeaux North Community Justice Center, which is the designated space for the Music City Community Court and all of its programming.
In 2021, amid the COVID19 pandemic, Judge Bell created another initiative named the L.E.G.A.C.Y. (Let Every Goal Achieve Continuous Yields) Housing Resource Diversionary Court & Program to assist landlords and tenants experiencing hardship and non-payment of rent. On the horizon is the C.A.R.E. LGBTQ+ Diversionary Court.
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- Looby, Nashville, Tennessee and Stonewall Bar Associations, Lawyers Association for Women, League of Women Voters, Women in Numbers, Davidson County Democratic Women, 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/President 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 myURGENCYMD, a telemedicine company and the “i am . . . just human.” movement. Judge Rachel cares deeply about equal justice and her mantra is, “Justice does NOT stop at the courthouse steps!”®