My dad Ronald Stevenson passed away last week. He has contributed to the Bay Area community for over thirty years
* Renamed Grove St to Martin Luther King Jr Way (Berkeley to Oakland)
* Renamed the UC Berkeley student Union to Martin Luther King Student Union
* When he was President of the Black Student Group at Berkeley High he lead the efforts to create one of the first African-American Studies Dept in any highschool.
*Ran "Break the Cycle" for over 15 years, an after-school tutorial program that took UC Berkeley students and had them tutor students at schools in Berkeley, Oakland and Richmond.
Many leaders on the community have worked with him and are personal friends, Loni Hancock (Senator), Tom Bates (Mayor of Berkeley), Linda Mai (Berkeley Council Member), Pedro Noguera (Former UC Berkeley & Harvard Professor, Current at NYU), Angela Davis (Retired Prof. UC Santa Cruz and political activist), Dan Boggan (Former Vice Chancellor UC Berkeley and recently retired from Sr. V.P. NCAA), Charles Henry (Chair African-American Studies Dept UC Berkeley)
All are very welcomed to give statements.
We will have his services at UC Berkeley, Friday, August 13th 5-8pm Alumni House.
Ronald Harold Stevenson III August 3, 1951 – July 19, 2010
Community Leader Ronnie Stevenson Passes Away on July 19, 2010
Ronald Harold Stevenson III, a Berkeley community leader for over 30 years, died suddenly on the afternoon of July 19th as a result of a brain aneurysm. Mr. Stevenson is survived by his wife of 33 years Linda, and their three children Sonia, Tania Jean (TJ) and Ronald IV.
was known throughout the Bay Area as an activist who led several important
efforts for social justice. In 1980 he served as a district
representative for the United Auto Workers (UAW) at the Ford Motor plant in
Mahwa, New Jersey. He led the effort to change the name of Grove Street
(in Berkeley and later Oakland) to Martin Luther King Jr Way. He also led
the effort to name the ASUC Student Union and Plaza at UC Berkeley after Dr.
An early member of the Black Panther Party, he later became a devoted follower of Dr. King's philosophy of non-violent activism. At the age of 16 he worked in the free breakfast program established by the Black Panther Party in Oakland, CA. He later turned his efforts to working with young people and is best known for his work in establishing the Break-the-Cycle program. This ground breaking tutorial program brought trained hundreds of undergraduate tutors from UC Berkeley to work with disadvantaged children at schools in Berkeley, Oakland and Richmond, CA. In 2001 he received an award from KQED for his leadership of the program.
Stevenson was born and raised in Berkeley. He graduated from Berkeley High School in 1969 and received his Bachelors degree in African American Studies from UC Berkeley in 1990. A memorial service will be held at the Alumni House at UC Berkeley on August 13th at 5pm to commemorate the life of Ronnie Stevenson's.
loyal friend and colleague...bright, passionate,
inspirational..and a true testimony for all of us at Malcolm X School for
his undying committment and dedication to raising student achievement and
setting high academic standards for all children. I feel honored to have
known him." Cheryl Chin, principal Malcolm X Elementary School, Berkeley, CA
“Ronnie initiated one of the most popular courses in the African American Studies department-- "The Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr."-- and was an active supporter of the department both as a student and later as a university staff member. His enthusiasm and spirit will be greatly missed.” – Professor Charles P. Henry, Chair of the African American Studies Department, UC Berkeley
Ronnie Stevenson was a remarkable organizer and community leader. He had a unique ability to inspire others to pursue goals that seemed out of reach and unattainable. Whether the issue was fighting Apartheid in South Africa, changing the name of Grove Street to MLK Jr. Way, or creating an innovative tutorial program for disadvantaged youth, Ronnie never allowed himself to be deterred or de-railed. He was a true champion of justice and a visionary. – Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates added, “Ronnie’s passion for serving at-risk youth moved policy makers in cities and school districts throughout the Bay Area to think more creatively about how to meet their needs. His passing is a major loss and he will be missed.”
“His work benefited many children throughout the Bay Area, and its impact will be felt for years to come,” said State Senator Lonnie Hancock.
If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me Sonia Waters (Stevenson)