Steven achieved national renown as the longtime leader of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s statewide organization for LGBT equality. From the time he founded Garden State Equality in 2004, the organization amassed 150,000 members and won a record-breaking 216 new civil rights laws at every level in the state. The Harvard Law and Policy Review credited Steven with building a “model organization” in the United States for achieving social justice. He moved on from Garden State Equality in 2013, the year New Jersey won marriage equality, to become an associate professor of law and political science at Rutgers University in Newark. In 2015, Steve Carell played Steven in the motion picture “Freeheld,” chronicling one of Garden State Equality’s legendary battles for justice. The movie was based on the 2007 documentary “Freeheld,” featuring the real Steven, that won the Oscar® for Best Short Documentary. Prior to his leading Garden State Equality and teaching at Rutgers, Steven was a television news producer, winning 10 Emmy Awards, and a senior staff member in both houses of Congress. He was a lawyer for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and then communications director for the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg. Steven received his B.A. summa cum laude from Brandeis University; his Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; his M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and his J.D. from Columbia Law School. He also began rabbinical school in mid-career. A native of New York City, Steven currently lives in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Rebecca Faulkner leads the day-to-day business of running the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. This includes the planning and implementation of onsite public programs, partnership ventures, temporary exhibits and coordinating the Center’s Confronting Intolerance Today speaker series. Rebecca has over fifteen years experience directing public and academic programs, as well as exhibits and educational outreach for museums and cultural centers in the USA and Britain, including the Jewish Museum (London) and the Museum at Eldridge Street (New York). Rebecca holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the University of London, and has written extensively on museum practice and community engagement.
Anne believed that “in spite of everything, people are truly good at heart.” The programs and exhibits at the Center reinforce Anne’s optimistic words, reminding us that in combating prejudice and intolerance, we are demanding a world dedicated to justice, compassion and equality.
Hilary Eddy Stipelman is Director of Outreach & Exhibitions at the AFC. She manages the North American Traveling Exhibitions program as well as the Center’s onsite exhibits. Hilary directs the educational programming components and community outreach for the Center’s traveling exhibits, leading docent training and professional development workshops for K-12 educators throughout the US and Canada. She holds an MS Ed. in museum education.
“Seeing how visitors of all ages connect to Anne Frank through our traveling exhibits is a wonderful experience for me. While we cannot go back and rewrite history we can help teach that history to empower individuals with their own moral courage.”
Beth Slepian collaborates with schools throughout NYC to provide arts-based instruction that offers young people a deeper understanding of Anne Frank while inspiring students towards self-discovery and community improvement. In addition, she regularly teaches school groups that visit the Center, hosts workshops for educators, and manages other educational programming in partnership with local schools and cultural organizations. She has more than a decade of experience teaching in schools, theaters, and museums throughout the country. Beth holds an M.A. in Educational Theatre and Social Studies Education from NYU.
“How fortunate we are to have Anne’s words, her message of hope, and her legacy as the core inspiration of our educational programming. The inspiration continues for me each moment as young people grapple with the difficult lessons of the past to promote a better world based on mutual respect.”
Hannah Vaughn is enjoying being a part of the Front Desk team. She holds a BA in Acting from Christopher Newport University and is pursuing her acting career when not at the Center. She has worked in customer service for the past 10 years and is currently expanding her resume as a producer for films, theater and web series.
“It’s incredible to see how Anne’s story impacts a whole family when they visit the Center – each person absorbs something very powerful but the experience is different for each person.”
Vik Gupta is a consulting director of finance to a number of non-profits and small businesses. He creates and implements financial systems, improves internal controls, reports to management and board of directors, liaises with outside auditors, and is responsible for overall financial strategy. He works on contingencies to ensure organizational continuity even during adverse times. He works closely with all clients to understand their programmatic missions and how finance can support and further their missions.
In his spare time, Vik is a photographer and volunteers with under-served communities and teaches Math to high-school students.
Anne’s message is an inspiration and a constant guide in furthering my own impact in the world.
Melendy Forman enjoys working for the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. She is a student at Bank Street College of Education and is pursuing her degree in Museum Education. She has been a teacher in the past and is excited to be making the switch into the museum world. Melendy looks forward to a career as a museum educator.
“Anne’s story is one of hope despite all odds. Her story is one that is relatable and strikes a chord with all who hear it. I think there’s so much the world can learn from that.”