It all started IN...
1991, at a kitchen table in Camden, New Jersey. Stephné R. Coney, a native and resident of the city, decided that she wanted to make a change in her community. Dr. Coney saw how violence and other ailments affected her neighborhood and the citizens within. Violence and gang activity had grown rapid and its effects became much more internal than external. With the teachings of nonviolence seen in the philosophies of Mohandas Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa, Dr. Coney incorporated National Stop the Violence and its immediate mission was to end violence across the country.
A strong, outspoken and mysterious woman, a native of Camden, New Jersey and a single mother raised by a single mother, Dr. Coney started the National Stop the Violence Alliance in 1991 "when Camden was burning down."
Along with years of working with Congressional leaders across the political landscape and presidents, to "frontliners (police and firefighters)" and powerful black leaders like Jesse Jackson and the former Rosa Parks, Coney is an impassioned motivational speaker in her own right. Dr. Coney shares, "Hate has no place in New Jersey - or in any city in America. We all have to live in a diverse society. We all need to accept it and learn from it - we need to teach that loving each other is okay. We need to teach our youth how to deal with violence - that it is not cowardly to step back. We have to go to a place where educating kids about character and morals teaches them how to live in a diverse community. We have to teach other countries about love - that it's okay for different religions to live amongst each other, to respect each others' differences. What's wrong is wrong, and what's right is right - there are no boundaries created by political, religious or any other type of affiliation. Right will always prevail."
Dr. Coney has diligently worked to drive awareness of the challenges facing urban families - the mothers running the households and the children, and she points to the shocking statistics of the numbers of killing happening annually in cities around the U.S. She describes a picture of a young child holding a gun and says there is nothing more disturbing. Coney advocates stronger and more aggressive gun laws, to protect and preserve the children, the law enforcement professionals and the greater communities.
Dr. Stephné R. Coney is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith, Texas Southern, and Nova Southeastern Universities. She holds a total of six degrees, including a doctorate in Youth and Child Studies and Human Services. Dr. Coney is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and other prestigious organizations. She has one daughter.