The Rev. Becca Stevens, Vanderbilt University’s Episcopal chaplain and the founder of the Magdalene residential communities, is among the 10 CNN Heroes finalists for 2016.
The 10 finalists will be honored during “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” which will air live on CNN and stream live on CNNgo from New York’s American Museum of Natural History on Sunday, Dec. 11. The ceremony will be co-hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC Television’s Kelly Ripa.
Each finalist will receive a $10,000 cash prize. One of the 10 will be named “CNN Hero of the Year” and receive an additional $100,000 for his or her cause.
Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year can be done via email, Facebook Messenger and Twitter up to 10 times per day from each platform.
Stevens is a graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School and a 2014 recipient of the Divinity School’s Distinguished Alumni/ae Award. She is a Nashville-based Episcopal priest and founder of Magdalene, a group of residential communities for women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. She founded Thistle Farms in 2001, which employs Magdalene residents and graduates and houses a natural body care line, a paper and sewing studio, and the Thistle Stop Café.
Stevens has been featured in the New York Times and on ABC World News, NPR, PBS, CNN and the Huffington Post. She was named by the White House as one of 15 Champions of Change for violence against women in 2011. She was inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame and conferred an honorary doctorate by The University of the South. Stevens tells her story in the memoir Snake Oil (Jericho Books, 2012).