Nicole Paultre-Bell and Valerie Bell received last years Black Girls Rock! ‘Monument’ Award, which recognizes individuals who have endured crises and withstood tremendous emotional, physical, and/or psychological events.
Sean Bell, who was tragically gunned down by police, in a hail of 50 bullets on the night before his wedding, was Nicole Paultre-Bell’s fiance. In honor of Sean, her high school sweetheart, Nicole has dedicated her life to combating police brutality, bettering her community, and raising her and Sean’s two daughters to “not see bitterness, but see hope.” (NicolePaultreBell.com)
Valerie Bell is Sean’s mother, who has also dedicated countless hours to keeping her son’s memory alive, and to seeking justice for families faced with similar turmoil. She wrote a public letter to the family of Oscar Grant, a man who was gunned down by police in Oakland on New Year’s Day this year.
For their resilience, extraordinary optimism, and selflessness, we honored Nicole Paultre-Bell and Valerie Bell with the Monument award–and we pray that this senseless violence will end.