On August 19, 2017 our beloved brother, mentor, and friend Michael Stephenson passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, leaving us all devastated and grateful. We are deeply saddened by the loss of the force of nature that Michael was. He taught us that there is no such thing as false hope, supported the Alliance’s development, trained several members inside and outside the prison in leadership and change management, and inspired us with his infectious enthusiasm, charming smile, and Carolina accent. What’s more, he brightened our lives with his compassion and positive energy, which seemed to have no bounds. Michael embraced incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men, prison staff, and Alliance volunteers with equal love and encouragement. His passion was social justice, but his deepest love was his family- his wife Sylvia, who has become like a sister to us, and his children Barry, Jenna, and Dylan. They remain in our thoughts and in our hearts, as Michael does.
“Courage is the discovery that you may not win, but having a spirit so strong, a vision so clear, and a hope so unwavering that you never, never, never stop trying.”