Joyce M. Bell is an associate professor and the Don E. Martindale Chair of Sociology at the University of Minnesota (beginning in 2016). Her research—in the area of race, social movements, and the professions—is primarily concerned with how resistance to racism shapes the professions. Her first book, The Black Power Movement and American Social Work (Columbia University Press, 2014), uses social work to examine the rise of black professional associations as an important outcome of the Black Power movement.
At Radcliffe, Bell will work on her second book, Black Power Lawyers: Unique and Unorthodox Methods, to be published by Oxford University Press. Utilizing archival sources, oral history interviews, legal analysis, and secondary sources, the book offers an organizational history of the National Conference of Black Lawyers and assesses the impact of the Black Power movement on the organization as well as the lawyers within it.
Bell holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Minnesota and a BA in Spanish and sociology from the University of St. Thomas. Bell is an alumna of the Federal TRIO Programs and was the recipient of the National TRIO Achievers Award in 2011. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, and the University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center. She serves on the council of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and sits on the editorial boards of Race and Social Problems, Sociological Focus, and Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.