Stephen Dear Community organizer for death penalty repeal, peace activist

Stephen Dear has been executive director of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, a national nonprofit organization, since 1997. He has organized more than 500 community events, mostly at churches, led efforts to generate 1,500 church, corporate and government resolutions for stopping executions and repealing the death penalty, organized the first large-scale act of civil disobedience against an execution (initially involving more than 100 people), and raised more than $4 million in funding for community organizing for abolition.

As executive director of the NC Rural Communities Assistance Project in the 1990s, he organized $25 million worth of water and sanitation improvements in rural, low-wealth communities. Stephen has also worked on the staff of the Center for the Study of Responsive Law (Ralph Nader’s office), the Coalition for a New Foreign Policy, the Columban Fathers Justice and Peace Office, and served in the Peace Corps in Malawi with his wife, Dr. Janet Dear.

Stephen has a master’s degree in international studies from Claremont Graduate University, a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Richmond, and studied theology at the Maryknoll School of Theology.