Edited 6/21/2020 3:40 pm
Bella Sobah, Esq. (BS Genetics, UW-Madison, 2016; Juris Doctorate, UW-Madison, 2020) was a remarkable, brilliant, passionate and visionary young woman. She graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in Genetics in 2016, and just recently from the UW-Madison Law School in 2020. She passed away after just beginning her career at Madison, Wisconsin’s Dane County District Attorney’s Juvenile Unit.
Bella was a tireless advocate for people of color, disabled, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ communities. She never missed an opportunity to speak up, and educate those around her on issues, and she belonged to organizations that were creating change in Madison and the state of Wisconsin. Bella was a member of the UW-Madison Black Law Students Association, and she Chaired the Disability Rights Commission for the city of Madison. She just started working with Dane County District Attorneys with hopes of fighting mass incarceration by working with the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union. The immense impact she made on this earth in the short time she was here was nothing short of incredible.
Beyond her social advocacy, Bella brought joy and laughter to everyone in her life. She loved good food, fashion, lipstick, and especially Beyoncé. She was charismatic and hilarious. Her brilliant sarcasm never failed to make everyone around her laugh. She loved and cared deeply, and was the biggest cheerleader for her classmates, friends and anyone who had the honor of being close to her. She was authentic, confident, and her actions always came from a place of empathy. Everything about her was infectious, and all of us around her became better people, by her example.
Because of her immense impact on so many, we would like to establish the Bella Sobah Award for Social Justice. Funds raised here will go towards issues Bella was passionate about, including minority, disability, LGBTQ+, immigration rights and prison reform among others. The funds will also be used to create a memorial in Bella’s honor at UW-Madison. Your donation will serve as a memory of the impact that Bella Sobah had on all of us, and the momentum for social justice for the disenfranchised for many years to come.
Family, friends, former classmates, peers, advocates, mentors, advisors and professors of Bella Sobah
Sobah Family: Najoua Ksontini (Mother), UW-Madison Graduate, B.S. 1989, M.S. 1991
William Sobah (Father), UW-Madison Graduate, B.S. 1989
Elias Sobah (Brother), UW-Madison, Expected Graduation, B.S. 2021
Fellow UW-Madison Genetics Graduates, Class of 2016: Matthew Busalacchi, Ellie Campbell, Salvador Carranza, Sara Grange, Aidan Holmes, Bailey Marquardt, Troy Meikle, Mary Mohr, Cori Praska, Tia Ramirez, Keighley Reisenauer, Ray Scheid, Cory Smid, Dirk Spencer, Colin Sunde, Katie Tabor, Micaela Zywicki
Dr. Ahna Skop, UW-Madison Genetics Professor and Bella’s capstone mentor
More about Bella:
Daily Cardinal: https://www.dailycardinal.com/article/2019/11/i-wish-they-knew-we-existed-disability-rights-commission-informs-citizens-city-on-accessibility?fbclid=IwAR0R8z4ZZvAN7Qly4Xjlket3JUNhbv6It0YDgE2V0dj2jWDGHzgD79DhyKs
CALS article: https://ecals.cals.wisc.edu/2016/05/26/overcoming-obstacles-bella-sobah-chooses-genetics-to-help-understand-and-cope-with-her-own-disease/?fbclid=IwAR03nam8wrmeAWhSDMjZrV9qXhIz2bs5Av8gQGeKPM6lrgQFAxeRjGRU03w
Disability Rights Commission: http://fox47.com/news/local/disability-rights-commission-not-supporting-madison-plastic-straw-restriction-proposal
“A seat at the table": https://madison.com/ct/entertainment/dining/a-seat-at-the-table-disability-advocates-push-for-better-access-when-dining-out/article_3ecacd3f-c14e-5849-a513-201f55f6ecd5.html
“Accessiblity should not be an afterthought”: https://madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/access-madison-campaign-to-ensure-accessibility-is-more-than-an-afterthought/article_8fe79d5e-d966-562c-a1d7-58d2958f9b1d.html
- Jim Reichling
- Elizabeth Ferris
- Nona Gronert
- Angela Davis