Karen Lattea joined the Sojourners staff as an editorial assistant in 1983, and served as managing editor, executive editor, and chief administrative officer prior to her current position as vice president and chief human resources officer. She focuses on staff hiring and retention, benefits administration, and the work of the executive and senior leadership teams. Karen holds a B.S. in community leadership and development from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, and between graduating and beginning work at Sojourners, she worked as a community organizer in New Haven, Connecticut.
The Washington, D.C.-Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan area has been home to Karen since birth. She was raised United Methodist and was a member of Sojourners Community for 12 years. Outside of work, Karen stays well-informed with radio news during her commute and enjoys following the local music scene, visiting breweries, and figuring out who did it in a good mystery novel.
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We Need Your Prayers
It’s been a year of struggle and a year of rejoicing. We wanted to give you a glimpse into our lives here at Sojourners and also ask for your prayers. In particular, we hope that you will pray for our dear colleague and friend to many of us, Elizabeth Palmberg, or as many know her, “Zab.” You might have read some of her reporting or commentaries in the magazine or seen some of her videos about prayer, bread making, and other topics. If you’ve read the magazine or used one of our resources since Elizabeth arrived as an intern in 2002, you have likely seen something created, influenced, or just plain made better by Elizabeth.
Herbie Hancock on Striking the Wrong Chord
Solar Panels from 1979 Return to the White House
A Big Bite of the Blues
The myths about blues music—that it's outdated and all sounds the same—are dispelled by The Alligator Records 25th Anniversary Collection. Alligator is recording the variety and vitality of the blues, present and future. The myths are history.
This double-CD collection lets you hear 38 different artists, and the liner notes indicate countless more playing backup (Stevie Ray Vaughan with Lonnie Mack, for instance). Three cuts are previously unreleased, which is a treat in itself, and the rest are available on complete collections from each artist. It's like having your own listening booth to check out Koko Taylor's soul, Son Seals' baritone, Cephas and Wiggins' Piedmont picking, or Michael Hill's lyrics.
The spectacular music on this collection isn't the only reason to buy it: The reputation and history of Alligator Records are worth supporting as well. In 1971, Bruce Iglauer, a white guy from Cincinnati who fell in love with the blues as a university student in Wisconsin, recorded and then pressed 1,000 copies of Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers with a $2,500 inheritance check. (Iglauer's first contact with the blues was hearing Mississippi Fred McDowell in 1966.) As the first album sold, Iglauer was able to record the next one (Big Walter Horton); as it sold, the next one came out (Son Seals), and so on.
Until 1978, Iglauer only recorded Chicago blues musicians. Albert Collins was the first from beyond the Chicago scene, and zydeco musician Clifton Chenier's 1982 I'm Here! won Alligator its first Grammy award (though not its first nomination). Johnny Winter's decision in 1984 to return to his blues roots brought Alligator's first listing in Billboard's "Top 200" with Guitar Slinger.
The Paradox of City Life
When I tell people I live in Washington, D.C., a common reply is, "I'm sorry to hear that."
In Her Own Words
For the Sake of Our Souls
Try to imagine civil rights marches without the spirituals or South African freedom without toi-toi.
Ready for the Road
Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton provide their own juice
A Walk Through Time
History was made in the movements for civil rights, feminism, and inner-city organizing while I was growing up in the 1960s.
Death and Danger
Lou Reed once said of his live performances: "It's really like going to a concert."
Hope for the Wary Heart
Gerald G. May's new book, The Awakened Heart: Living Beyond Addiction (HarperSanFrancisco, 1991, $16.95, cloth) has the capacity to rekindle hope in wary hearts—real hope, rooted in honesty and faith, not in retreat from reality or creative conformity. But it takes a certain willingness to read these pages, for May's blended background of psychiatry and spiritual guidance enables him to challenge our deepest insecurities and disillusionment even as he nurtures our courage and dreams.
The Awakened Heart offers a spirituality that calls us to listen more to our hearts and less to our heads, to place more priority on love than on efficiency in our lives. May recognizes the "gentle warfare" between love and efficiency, saying, "The enemy is that which would stifle your love: your fear of being hurt, the addictions that restrict your passion, and the efficiency worship of the world that makes you doubt the value of love."
Addiction in May's lexicon is an expansive term. Building on his last work, Addiction and Grace (Harper, 1988, $9.95, paper), May writes, "Attachment nails the energy of our passion to someone or something, producing a state of addiction." He suggests that asking ourselves "freedom questions" is necessary for discerning how much we've allowed addiction to enter into our loves. "The difference is between attachment binding desire," he writes, "and commitment honoring desire." The "Freedom and Intention" chapter concludes with a very encouraging discussion of prayer—a turning toward the "source of love" in which complete freedom exists.
Years of Shared Wisdom
Our community spiritual director
Heroes for the Road
Bruce Cockburn's "Nothing But a Burning Light"
The Rhythm of Bonnie's Blues
Bonnie Raitt's new offering tips her hand
Ending the Stigma and the Silence
What's in (publishing) a name?