Michele Stephenson


  • Achievement gap
  • Race and diversity

Michèle Stephenson is a documentary filmmaker who made the film American Promise. After serving as law clerk for Judge Jack B. Weinstein in the eastern district of New York, and following a previous career in international development in West Africa, Stephenson’s legal work brought her to human rights and racial justice advocacy at Peter Gabriel’s organization, WITNESS. She then transitioned into nonfiction storytelling. An early adopter of social media, Stephenson used video to structure advocacy campaigns and train advocates from around the globe. Stephenson’s work has been broadcast on PBS, Showtime, the Sundance Channel and the Starz Network. She is also a recipient of the Sundance Institute, Tribeca All Access, Tribeca New Media Fund and BAVC fellowships. Her recent documentary film, American Promise, is the winner of the 2013 African-American Critics Association Award for Best Documentary, The Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize and the Full Frame Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. She is also a recipient of the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media.