The College of Arts & Sciences is proud to announce the recipient of its 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award: activist and author Charles Stephens.
Stephens (B.A., Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, 2005) is the executive director of The Counter Narrative Project. The nonprofit organization works to educate and mobilize black gay men around political issues, and works with other nonprofits to help them do the same.
Stephens has a long history of activism. He has worked as a consultant with the Ford Foundation, AIDS United, and AID Atlanta. He has been a fellow at the CDC’s Institute for HIV Prevention Leadership. Stephens was a co-chair for the Emory University Hope Clinic Community Advisory Board. And in 2012, he presented on LGBT youth issues at a White House summit.
Stephens is also a prolific writer, who produces regular columns for The Advocate and The Huffington post. In 2014, he co-edited an anthology, Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call, that was a finalist for the prestigious Lambda Literary Award.
Stephens has received the United Fellowship Church Community Award and the Marlon Riggs Social Justice award from ZAMI, an organization that advocates for black lesbians.
“Charles Stephens used his Georgia State education not only to launch a distinguished career for himself, but to lift up his entire community,” said Dean Sara Rosen of the College of Arts & Sciences. “We are extremely proud of him as an alumnus and a role model.”