Follow the Money
What is Bella Consulting Firm LLC?
On July 5, 2018, while an academic at Michigan State University, April Baker-Bell registered Bella Consulting Firm, LLC, based in Macomb, Michigan, with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. As of September 2021, she is associate professor of language, literacy and English at Michigan State University. She described herself as a “transdisciplinary teacher-researcher-activist.”
In June 2021, Baker-Bell posted a tweet: “Excited about receiving a $218,000 Andrew W. Mellow New Directions Fellowship to continue my work on antiracism and anti-Blackness in the field of medicine.”
Her bio read, “A national leader in conversations on Black Language education, her research interrogates the intersections of Black language and literacies, anti-Black racism, and antiracist pedagogies, and is concerned with antiracist writing, critical media literacies, Black feminist-womanist storytelling, and self-preservation for Black women in academia, with an emphasis on early career Black women.”
The bio said her book, “Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy,” “brings together theory, research, and practice to dismantle Anti-Black Linguistic Racism…and white linguistic supremacy.” The bio also said that “Anti-Black Linguistic Racism” is “a term Baker-Bell coined.”
The bio said: “The book provides ethnographic snapshots of how Black students navigate and negotiate their linguistic and racial identities across multiple contexts, and it captures what Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy looks like in community with Black youth.” It continued: “Linguistic Justice features a range of multimodal examples and practices through instructional maps, charts, artwork, and stories that reflect the urgent need for antiracist language pedagogies in our current social and political climate.”
What K-12 work has Bella Consulting Firm, LLC done?
According to her curriculum vita, Baker-Bell has done the following consulting:
- 2011: Jumpstart Writing Program, Division of Community Education, Wayne State University, Dr. Julie Mix, English Coordinator, 2011
- July 2012. “African American Language & Literacy,” Summer Reading Thinking Institute, Oakland Schools, Waterford, MI.
- February 2017. “I Can Switch my Language, but I Can’t Switch My Skin.” African Heritage, Inc., Northeast, Wisconsin.
- March 2017: “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy of Language.” Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency, Wayne, MI.
- August 2018: “Linguistic & Racial Justice: Implementing antiracist pedagogy in the secondary English Language Arts classroom.” Novi Community Schools, Novi, MI.
- November 2018: “I Can Switch My Language, but I Can’t Switch My Skin: Culturally Proficient Language Instruction.” Plymouth, MI.
- January 2019: “Antiracist Pedagogy in Math Education.” Washtenaw Intermediate School District Responsive Mathematics Institute. Ann Arbor, MI.
- March 2019: “Linguistic Racism in English Language (ELA) classrooms.” Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency, Wayne, MI.
What K-12 work has Bella Consulting done?
Oakland Schools, Michigan
Oakland Schools signed a contract with Bella Consulting Firm LLC and its founder April Baker-Bell for $3,000 for a March 25, 2021, virtual event with a 45-minute lecture and 15-minute Q&A for up to 1,000 people.
“Dr. Baker-Bell will help us unpack the concept of anti-black linguistic racism, while exploring how schools can use Anti-Racist Language Pedagogy to affirm Blackness in classrooms and communities,” the contract said.
The event was listed as: “For Teachers and Administrators.”