Hannah Critchfield is a freelance journalist covering the intersection of religion, gender, and political movements and the Development Assistant at National Women's Law Center.

Originally from the actual, yes-it’s-a-real-town of Normal, Ill., Hannah is most recently coming from Chicago, where she attended North Park University and majored in Conflict Transformation Studies and Psychology. She was deeply impacted by the community there, which both provided her with language to speak about existing power structures and instilled in her a belief that no one is powerless. While at university she was also influenced by Quaker teachings of unconditional human value through her internship alongside Friends in Northern Ireland, and by the concept of hospitality, which Palestinian friends and strangers demonstrated countless times both on campus and during her time in the West Bank.

Hannah’s delight in seeing the paradox in everyday life has led to an eclectic blend of interests that includes (but is not limited to) reconciliation work, Spartan races, struggling to learn how to cook, and Middle Eastern history. 

Posts By This Author

Meet the 28-Year-Old Seminary Grad Suing the Trump Administration

by Hannah Critchfield 12-05-2017

Image courtesy Alicia Baker.

The rules, a direct rollback of the ACA’s contraceptive coverage mandate requiring access to birth control without additional cost, are considered a fulfillment of a promise Trump made to the religious community at a speech in the Rose Garden five months earlier, stating, "We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced anymore." But one of his biggest opponents is an evangelical Christian.

The New Normal: Women Are Moving from the Church to Elected Office

by Hannah Critchfield 05-02-2017

Chemberly Cummings, being sworn in as member of the Normal Town Council. Photo courtesy Chemberly Cummings.

When Arlene Hosea’s mother came to Normal, Ill., in the 1930s, she could not use a public swimming pool unless it was specifically designated as “colored.” This month, her daughter will take office as a Normal Township Trustee — the first person of color to ever hold the position. Arlene, the recently retired director of Illinois State University’s dining services, is one of two black women to have run for office in the city’s local elections last month. The other, Chemberly Cummings, is also the first person of color to serve in her position — yesterday, she was sworn is as a member of the Normal Town Council.

Hillary Clinton: Including Women in Peace Processes Is Strategic and Necessary

by Hannah Critchfield 04-06-2017

Hillary Clinton speaks at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security awards ceremony. Photo by Hannah Critchfield / Sojourners

Most of Hillary’s speech was spent using empirical evidence to present a consistent, classic message: Including women in peace processes is strategic and necessary. It isn’t flashy, and it isn’t new — much of Clinton’s career has been dedicated to advocating for international women’s rights. Her message emphasized that having women at the table is pragmatic in any sustainable peace process.

Want to Resist Xenophobia in 2017? Start Local

by Hannah Critchfield 02-01-2017

While much of the country is still reeling from the presidential election, residents of Hyattsville, Md., are preparing to vote — some for the first time ever (in the United States). Thanks to an amendment the Hyattsville City Council passed this December, non-U.S. citizens now have the right to vote in municipal elections.

America Wants Justice for Terrorism... Just Not When It Commits It

by Hannah Critchfield 09-30-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Recent polls show that 68 percent of black Americans think the government should provide monetary reparations to descendants of slaves. That this most recent call for reparations, from a global governing body, has largely gone ignored in the same week that Congress gave sweeping support to the JASTA bill suggests to black citizens that the United States government is comfortable pursuing justice for others’ terrorism but less interested in taking responsibility for its own.

Why We Should Care About the Stalled Elections in Palestine

by Hannah Critchfield 09-21-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

If our own election cycle has taught us anything, it’s that the voices that go unheard do not simply stop speaking. The Palestinian people are a necessary and vital part in any peace process — their concerns and internal diversity are our worth attention. The flourishing of representative elections ensures a more sustainable partner for peace. Ultimately we, too, lose if Palestinians are denied the vote.