Fran Bell doesn’t consider herself retired from her 34-year stint with the YMCA, but rewired for the exciting work she continues to do to elevate and celebrate others. She can be found volunteering with leadership and mentoring programs for Black and Brown teen girls or connecting organizations with resources to address the inequities in underserved communities. Bell loves securing spaces for noteworthy and emerging thought leaders to be heard and paid for it and consistently patronizes and exposes others to Black and women owned businesses as a deliberate attempt to create wealth among those overlooked.
A strong advocate for Black and Brown communities, women and other marginalized collectives, Fran landed the first Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion position for a YMCA Metro Association in the U.S. Also a founding member of the National Y’s African American Employee Resource Network she served as its first woman chair.
Fran’s favorite pastime is connecting people. She has embraced this as her calling and lives by a quote from Kanye West, “I’m like a vessel, and God has chosen me to be the voice and the connector.” Relationships can be one of your greatest assets and is why she is most proud of the relationships she has nurtured with people, particularly young leaders, in and outside of the Y who demonstrate the desire, ability and passion to contribute and lead in meaningful ways.