The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 24, 2013

Impact Alabama founder, Stephen Black, urges compassion

By Kim West

— Stephen Black shared his passion for philanthropy and emphasized the need for compassion during a speech to more than 50 Rotary Club members Friday at Athens State University.

“The basic tenet of thoughtful citizenship still would be compassion — to feel what it would feel like to lead someone else’s life,” Black said. “But compassion does not work if it’s only intellectual. Compassion is driven by human connectivity.”

Black, the grandson of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, is the founder and director of the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at the University of Alabama.

He is also the founder and president of Impact Alabama, which provides vision screenings for pre-K children through its FocusFirst program. The philanthropy works with more than 20 colleges and universities statewide to provide service-learning projects for students.