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Michèle Stephenson

Visiting Assistant Professor of Film

As a co-founding member of the Rada Film Group, filmmaker, artist, and author Michèle Stephenson pulls from her Panamanian and Haitian roots and international experience as a human rights attorney to tell compelling, deeply personal stories in a variety of media that resonate beyond the margins.

Her work has appeared on a variety of broadcast and web platforms, including PBS, Showtime, and MTV. Her most recent film, American Promise, was nominated for three Emmys, including Best Documentary and Best News Coverage of a Contemporary Issue. The film also won the Jury Prize at Sundance and was selected for the New York Film Festival’s Main Slate Program. Her collaborative film series with New York Times Op-Docs, A Conversation on Race, won the 2016 Online Journalism Award for Commentary. Stephenson was awarded the Chicken & Egg Pictures Filmmaker Breakthrough Award and received a 2016 Guggenheim fellowship. Her current work, Hispaniola, is supported by the National Film Board of Canada and the Sundance Documentary Fund.

Stephenson‘s community engagement accomplishments include the PUMA BritDoc Impact Award for a Film with the Greatest Impact on Society, and she is a Skoll Sundance Storytellers of Change Fellow. Her book, Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and Life (Spiegel & Grau, 2014), written with co-authors Joe Brewster and Hilary Beard, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.