2023 - 2024
“One feels honored, that somebody thinks that what you did in life can potentially mean something to somebody else.”
Tim Stevens - University of Pittsburgh Interview Feb. 11, 2022
Timothy (Tim) Stevens was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., to Georgetta and Jaspar Stevens. He was raised in the Hill District and attended the University of Pittsburgh, earning his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 1967 and his Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning in 1974. In the wake of the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Stevens decided to take a larger role in his community. In 1970, he became Executive Director of the Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP, holding this position for four years. In 1977, he began working as a volunteer coordinator at Mayview State Hospital. By 1990, he was made Director of Volunteer Resource Services. In 1986, Stevens founded the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP), an organization aimed at promoting African American involvement in local, state, and national elections. In November 1994, Stevens was elected President of the Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP. Over the next decade, Stevens would be continually re-elected to this position, being both praised and criticized for his very vocal presence in the media and his advocacy for African American rights and interests. Stevens took great interest in the tension between the African American community and the Pittsburgh Police Department. One of his projects, the Black and White Reunion, arose out of the controversial death of Jonny Gammage at the hands of the police. This project aimed to bridge tensions between the African American and Caucasian communities in Pittsburgh. Stevens lost the NAACP presidential election in late 2004, but left his mark on both the NAACP and the Pittsburgh community, where he still continues to be an active advocate for African Americans. Stevens is also a well-known jazz performer and vocalist. He has written a variety of songs, including one recorded by Nancy Wilson. He has produced and released several albums, both solo and with his ensemble, the Tim Stevens Project. He also the former contributing editor for Pittsburgh Magazine's jazz section.