Susan Stephens

WNIJ News Reporter/Producer

Susan’s parents should have known she’d end up in radio: her favorite toys were tape recorders, cameras, notepads, and books. Many years later, she’s an award-winning reporter at her favorite radio station. Formerly WNIJ’s News Director, she asked to return to the role of full-time reporter/anchor/utility player in 2010 (less paperwork, more reporting!). Her #1 goal is to tell the most compelling stories in the fewest words possible…all the better if a little humor can be thrown into the mix.  It should come as no surprise, then, that she can whip up a haiku for any occasion. She also enjoys the Detroit Tigers, learning pioneer skills (Gardening, canning, and the like. Just in case.), traveling with friends, and pretending she’s going to get around to playing her theremin.

Rockford Register Star

Assembling a police force that “looks like the community” is an important goal for many American cities. But it can be a slow process. 11% of Rockford’s police force is black, compared to 21% of the overall population.

Rockford Register Star

Unemployment rates in Rockford tend to be among the highest in northern Illinois. For African Americans, that rate is nearly double.

WNIJ’s Susan Stephens spoke with former Rockford Register Star reporter Brian Leaf about what’s being done to remedy that.  It was one of Leaf’s last stories as a reporter for the paper and is part of our collaboration “Race in the Rock River Valley.”

Max Gersch, Sunny Strader / Rockford Register Star

Overt racism is usually pretty easy to spot. But there’s another less-obvious type of racist behavior that can also hurt.  WNIJ and the Rockford Register Star are kicking off a year-long collaboration called “Race in the Rock River Valley” with an examination of “microaggressions.”

rrstar.com

This weekend, the Rockford Register Star -- in partnership with WNIJ News -- kicks off a year-long series on race in the Rock River Valley. 

WNIJ’s Susan Stephens spoke with Register Star Executive Editor Mark Baldwin about the reasons behind the project. The series kicks off in the newspaper Sunday, Nov. 13. Tuesday on WNIJ, we’ll hear from Rockford residents about their experiences with “microaggressions.”

NIU

A Northern Illinois University student has reported that four men in a truck harassed him, using racial slurs and displaying a shotgun and a Nazi flag, and the university confirms that police are investigating.

NIU learned on Friday of a Facebook post about the alleged incident, which took place during the noon hour Thursday just off campus in a parking lot in the 100 block of North Annie Glidden Road. The student was not injured.

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