Stephens spent 19 years in mainstream media working her way up the ranks at Newsweek and Newsweek International magazines. Disillusioned with the way journalism was changing, she left to start up an early e-zine and then moved into the non-corporate realm as editor of ICView magazine, the magazine of Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. Now associate director of the Park Center for Independent Media, she works with FAIR founder and media watcher Jeff Cohen.
Stephens was founding codirector of Iraqi Refugees Assistance Connection and was the U.S. spokesperson and senior strategist for the International Campaign for Freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma. She also spent many years as an organic farmer, growing almost all of her family's food. When she lived in the city she kept up her passion for growing things at the New York Botanical Garden. There she joined the team that started Bronx Green-Up, a community project that reclaimed abandoned, waste-strewn urban lots and turned them into green oases; BGU became a model for other such urban gardening projects around the country.
Now much of Stephens's energy goes toward fighting the corporate harms of fracking as a cofounder of the Coalition to Protect New York. She is also a member of other grassroots groups fighting to protect people and nature from the devastation wreaked by this relatively new and rampantly invasive practice of the Big Gas industry.
Stephens teaches multimedia journalism and citizen journalism, as well as creative writing, in various venues. She believes in using media and the arts for positive and sustainable social change. She holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from Goddard College and is a three-time graduate of Democracy School.
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