Campaigns, Mobilizing, and Media Assistant

Hi! I was born and raised in the suburbs of Richmond Virginia and recently graduated from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., where I studied history and political science. One of the most important things college taught me about was the world  — the injustices that are presented and institutionalized and that part of being an informed citizen means that you have to take steps in order to affect change. During college, I was part of an ecumenical campus ministry that sought to examine what it means to be a Christian in today’s world. I am excited to be a part of Sojourners, a group that is living out the ideas of loving your neighbors, which is so fundamental to the Christian faith. When I’m not working, you can find me baking, watching tv shows, or reading books about the home front in World War II.

Posts By This Author

Immigrants Across the Country Are Using Hunger Strikes to Protest Inhumane Detention

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) temporary facilities for housing migrants are seen in Donna, Texas, U.S., May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Hunger strikes allow detained immigrants to regain their agency while simultaneously throwing themselves on the mercy of the very institution that has oppressed them.

Why We Must Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

by Helen Salita 03-26-2019

Capitol building in Washington, D.C. / Shutterstock

VAWA expired back in February, leaving shelters and survivors worried about their futures. However, on March 7, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced an expanded version of VAWA in the House. While it’s been introduced bipartisanly, it’s almost entirely supported by Democrats, who comprise 110 of its 111 co-sponsors. VAWA is reauthorized every five years and with each new reiteration has been expanded to offer new services for communities and individuals that are suffering. In the latest proposed legislation, many Republicans object to assisting two of the communities designated for special protections: Native Americans and transgender individuals.

DeVos' Campus Sexual Assault Changes Give More Rights to the Accused

by Helen Salita 11-21-2018

Image via shutterstock/katz 

One of the biggest changes in policy is a new provision that allows for the accused to cross-examine their accuser at a live hearing. It does stipulate that the cross-examination will be carried out by a third party, a lawyer, or advisor.

Trump Administration's Census Change Reflects White Nationalist Agenda

by Helen Salita 10-29-2018

In March, the Trump administration added a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census. Multiple lawsuits have been brought against this addition. The last time some form of citizenship question was asked on the census was 1950. If this question wasn’t asked for six consecutive censuses, then why is the Trump administration pushing to reinstate it now?

Faith Leaders on Farm Bill: 'Say No'

by Helen Salita, by Jeff Hoagland 05-08-2018

"This does not establish justice, its establishes injustice," Rev. Barber said, riffing on the Preamble of the Constitution. "This does not provide for the common defense, because it takes away defense from the poorest among us … This does not promote the general welfare, it promotes harm for the least of these."

10 Pieces You Need to Read About Sexual Assault and the Church

by Jenna Barnett, by Helen Salita 04-30-2018

Just as one month of awareness every April isn’t enough, neither is one 10-article roundup. Our prayer is this: May our reading and writing lead to preaching and legislating, may our preaching and legislating heal trauma and end sexual violence.

Catholics Arrested While Calling for Better Protections for Dreamers

by Helen Salita 02-28-2018

Image via Dhanya Addanki/Sojourners

“Giving legal status to Dreamers is not a political issue. It is a moral issue,” said Father Tom Reese, a Jesuit priest and popular Catholic columnist. “It is time for the people who worked in that building [pointing to the Capitol] to realize this is a moral issue, this is a justice issue. And the political gamesmanship must stop.” He was arrested shortly after.

New DOJ Report Adds Fuel to Myth of Violent Immigrants

by Helen Salita 01-26-2018

Image via kafeinkolik/Shutterstock

The report estimates that an average of 23-27 honor killings occur every year in the United States, and suggests that 513,000 women and girls are at risk of FGM. These are horrific acts of violence against women. But simply preventing immigrants from entering the U.S. won’t stop these acts. If the Trump administration is serious about combating these abuses against women and girls, it would be funding education initiatives, preventative programs, and resources designed to help survivors. But that isn’t where the administration is putting money, suggesting their goal isn’t to stop these acts from happening — it’s simply to make sure these violent acts against women happen somewhere else.

8 Immigration Stories That Explain What's at Stake for DACA

by Jessica Cobian, by Helen Salita 01-22-2018

Since the Trump administration announced in September that it was bringing DACA to an end, nearly 16,000 DACA recipients have already lost their protections. DACA is set to formally expire on March 5, but the process has already shortchanged benefits for many, with up to 122 more young adults losing their protections each day. While Democrats and Republicans go back to the drawing board on DACA, here are eight stories to catch you up on the fate of Dreamers and DACA recipients.

Activists March for Dreamers on Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas

by Helen Salita 12-18-2017

On Dec. 12, members of the Washington, D.C., community gathered at St. Peter’s Catholic Church for a Mass celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Americas. Bishop Mario Dorsonville-Rodriguez used the homily to remind the congregation of the legacy of Our Lady, and also that Christ calls Christians to be the voice for the voiceless and the face to the faceless. And that in this current climate, that means standing with our immigrant sisters and brothers, and fighting for their safety and rights. He urged the U.S. to protect Dreamers and pass a Clean Dream Act before the end of 2017.

Why Some Immigrant Survivors Don't Report Abuse

by Helen Salita 10-20-2017

If and when a survivor manages to leave an abusive situation, they still face many hurdles in their immigrant community. Some fear that stories of abuse may threaten whatever positive image the community has worked hard to shore up in a time of fear and distrust. Aisha Rahman, Executive Director of KARAMAH, a group of Muslim women lawyers representing human rights, told a story of a Somali woman living in the small town of Lewistown, Maine. After counseling and support, she finally felt able to testify about the sexual assault she experienced, yet only two men in her community were able to interpret for her. During her testimony, the men translated her stories in much softer language (“He was mean to her”), and themselves repeatedly asked her questions like, “Do you really want to expose your husband? Do you really want to expose our community?

Hundreds Gather at the ‘No Muslim Ban Ever’ Rally

by Helen Salita, by Jeff Hoagland, by Rebekah Fulton 10-19-2017

Image via Rebekah Fulton/Sojourners 

“The administration is going to challenge it [the court’s halt] and continue to try to make sure it [the ban] happens, ” said Isra Chaker, one of the speakers at the rally and a campaigns advisor at Oxfam America focusing on refugees.