Stephen McNeil stands at a podium, speaking to a crowd.

Stephen Roland McNeil, a lifelong activist for global peace and justice, passed away on June 18, 2022. He spent 33 years at AFSC, retiring in 2017 from his role as the director of the Peacebuilding Program in San Francisco.   

Stephen was a stalwart in his commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, and a key support and organizer for the Hibakusha--people who survived the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki--on their peace missions to the United States. He also spent many years advancing peace issues through his volunteer work for the Friends Committee on National Legislation and as a board member of Pendle Hill.   

Born in January 1950 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Stephen was a member of Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting in Berkeley, California. He assisted in the capital campaign for a final home for the Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen in the Mission district of San Francisco. Stephen’s passion for justice work seemed limitless and his dedication and expertise helped further efforts around LGBTQ+ rights, Middle East peace, demilitarization, and policing issues. Brian Mailman, Stephen's husband of 30 years, shared the values that motivated Stephen's work.   

Stephen was a diligent volunteer for many years with AIDS organizations, including the AIDS Emergency Fund and the former Home Care Companions, that trained over 4,000 informal caregivers in the San Francisco Area. Stephen helped establish The Family Link, a hospitality house originally for families visiting people living with AIDS, and now for any with adult children undergoing life-threatening illnesses.  

Stephen’s longtime service in AFSC’s Northern California programs helped shape an era of Quaker peace and justice work.   

To honor his legacy and to continue work in the spirit of his deep commitments, an anonymous donor has created the Stephen McNeil Fellowship at AFSC. For the next two years, this fellow will work with our Oakland-based Economic Activism program to organize faith communities nation-wide in nonviolent actions for justice and peace in Palestine.