B I O G R A P H Y 

Janelle Bechdol is an artivist from New York. Her life’s work is centered on leveraging the power of popular movements to uplift the dreams, spirits and collective future of young people.

For eight years, Janelle worked for Ernst & Young (EY) to lead their national education efforts, developing a program called College Mentoring for Access and Persistence to support first-generation high school students through the college process. Janelle is the co-founder of the Hall Pass Tour, which is a concert series that travels the country to get kids excited about their dreams, and to activate their leadership in positive and effective school change. She recently founded MUSEDORA, which is a movement to re-define, re-purpose, and re-position the role of popular musicians in the 21st century.

Janelle has a white father and African American mother. Although she has eight siblings, she is the only mixed-race member of her family. She works through the intersectionality of her identity in her social justice work and harnesses the powers of narrative, purpose and creativity to inspire positive change. 

Janelle attended the University at Albany, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication, with a minor in music.  In 2014, Janelle earned a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She currently lives in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn where she is a musician, educator and public speaker.