MLK 2021 Celebration: Dr. Shamell Bell
Public Talk
2021 MLK Celebration

Keynote: Dr. Shamell Bell

Collective Freedom Dreaming
January 18, 2021

This event occurred as part of the 20/21 Public Talk season. This is an archived view.

A radical embodied dialogue to imagine shared liberation.

20/21 Public Talk

Conversation meets movement in this powerful keynote experience by Dr. Shamell Bell. A mother, community organizer, dancer/choreographer, documentary filmmaker and original member of Black Lives Matter, Dr. Bell introduces us to street dance activism, which deploys dance for grassroots political action. Through discussion and physical exploration, she guides us in a moving exercise of reflecting, breathing, moving our bodies and gathering freedom dreams together.

Monday, January 18 at 7:30 pm ET

This free event is hosted on the Hop's YouTube channel, and it is open to the community.


Join us directly after the Keynote address for a Q&A with Dr. Shamell Bell and Dartmouth students. A separate Zoom link will be posted during the event.

About MLK 2021 Celebration

Our local and global communities have faced several hard truths this year. As we come together to advocate for change, overcome a pandemic, protest systemic inequities, and so much more, we should be inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s immortal words: "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."

As we strive to recognize and emulate Dr. King's legacy, our goal for the annual MLK Celebration is to honor and celebrate his life and work so that members of our community may:

  • Be cognizant of and value his transformational politics and actions, the broader context of his leadership in the civil rights movement, and the ongoing power of this legacy;
  • Be inspired and motivated to apply Dr. King's philosophy and approach to our own lives and work; and 
  • Be called to address the causes and impact of social inequality and injustice — individually, locally, and globally.

This event is part of the 2021 MLK, Jr. Celebration. For a full schedule of events visit

About Shamell Bell

"Visionary Instigator" of Street Dance Activism and Global Dance Meditation for Black Liberation, Dr. Shamell Bell is a mother, community organizer, dancer/choreographer, and documentary filmmaker. Bell received her PhD in Culture and Performance at UCLA's World Arts and Cultures/Dance department. She received her M.A. in Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego and B.A. with Honors in American Studies and Ethnicity specializing in African American Studies at the University of Southern California. Dr. Bell is currently a Lecturer of Somatic Practices and Global Performance at Harvard University and Lecturer of African and African American Studies at Dartmouth College. Her work on what she calls, "street dance activism" situates street dance as grassroots political action from her perspectives as a scholar, dancer, and choreographer. Shamell's research examines street dance movements in South Central Los Angeles through an autoethnographic and performance studies lens. Her street dance experience includes featured roles in music videos, award shows, and tours. An original member of the #blacklivesmatter movement, beginning as a core organizer with Justice 4 Trayvon Martin Los Angeles (J4TMLA)/Black Lives Matter Los Angeles to what she now describes as an Arts & Culture liaison between several social justice organizations. She also consults for social justice impact in the tv, film, theater and music industry.

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