Volunteer Spotlight: Aliyah Bell
By Flannery Winchester
Aliyah Chyane Bell is a busy 23-year-old professional, soon-to-be law student, and climate advocate. She works at Xavier University of Louisiana as the assistant to the Director of Sustainability, and she’s studying for the LSAT and applying to master’s programs.
We’re lucky that she also carves out time to push for climate action with CCL!
“I first got connected with CCL almost a year ago through an internship at Xavier with Helena Robinson,” Aliyah says. “I was a political science major, and Helena saw an opportunity to bridge my passion for the environment with my enthusiasm for policy and government affairs.”
She attended CCL’s summer conference in June 2023, and now, Aliyah serves as the liaison to Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA-02) in CCL’s New Orleans chapter, where she’s doing a bang-up job. “Aliyah got Rep. Carter to send a video welcome message to our Third Coast Conference last fall, and a member of his staff also attended the conference,” says Third Coast Regional Coordinator Susan Adams.
Let’s hear more from Aliyah about her journey with CCL and how she stays dedicated to making a difference.
What made you want to get involved with CCL?
What I like about CCL is its bipartisan nature. Despite potential differences outside the room and inside, we work together to build common ground and strive towards the parallel goal of climate advocacy. CCL has provided me with a new perspective on building relationships in various spaces.
How did you initially find CCL?
If it weren’t for Helena introducing me to CCL, I likely wouldn’t be working with them at all. Helena, a compassionate individual, has not only worked diligently but also possesses the kindness and openness that makes her an ideal collaborator. I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way through my association with CCL, all thanks to Helena.
Editor’s note: Meet Helena in her own Volunteer Spotlight post.
Please tell us about your main efforts or projects within CCL.
CCL has been actively working on revitalizing its presence within the New Orleans chapter, and as part of this initiative, the decision was made to host this year’s regional conference in the vibrant city. In October, we successfully organized a CCL conference at my alma mater, Xavier University, with the theme “Building Common Ground.”
To prepare for this event, I dedicated myself to weekly meetings, contributing to discussions on budgeting, food arrangements, securing speakers, managing accommodations, parking logistics, and catering services. As a proactive participant, I took on a role in the youth panel during the conference, sharing insights on my lobbying experience with CCL on Capitol Hill and emphasizing the transformative impact it had on me.
My commitment to CCL extends beyond mere contribution; I actively engage in the developmental stages of the organization, ensuring that I play a role in shaping its future alongside its dedicated members.
What keeps you motivated to do this work?
I have always harbored a genuine passion for making a positive impact in the world. Witnessing the tangible difference my efforts can make and connecting with other young Black women of my age group serves as a powerful reaffirmation that my endeavors are not only commendable but are also a source of pride for the community I belong to.
What might you say to others struggling to stay motivated?
The journey towards positive change may face obstacles, and it’s essential not to be disheartened by external opinions or challenges. Embracing my father’s wisdom, Patrick Bell, who often emphasized that “Luck favors those who are well prepared,” I firmly believe in the power of preparation and persistence. Every individual has the capacity to contribute meaningfully to their community and beyond. By staying resilient and focused on their goals, they can overcome hurdles and create a lasting impact.
It is my sincere hope that those who read this are inspired to believe in their abilities, knowing that their actions have the potential to shape a better future for themselves and those around them.