Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

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.

Posts By This Author

We Need Your Prayers

by Karen Lattea 04-15-2014
Sojourners staff

Sojourners staff, Photo by Brandon Hook / Sojourners

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

by Karen Lattea 10-04-2010
In the midst of matching mentors to new interns a couple of weeks ago at Sojourners, I came to an uncomfortable realization.

Solar Panels from 1979 Return to the White House

by Karen Lattea 09-10-2010

In 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter announced the installation of solar panels on the White House roof.

A Big Bite of the Blues

by Karen Lattea 09-01-1996
The music and reputation of Alligator Records

The myths about blues music—that it's outdated and all sounds the same—are dispelled by The Alligator Records 25th Anniversary Collection.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

by Karen Lattea 07-01-1995

When I tell people I live in Washington, D.C., a common reply is, "I'm sorry to hear that."

Practical Peacemaking

by Karen Lattea 12-01-1994
Groups that work.

In Her Own Words

by Karen Lattea 07-01-1994
Bonnie Raitt's new release is personal and political

For the Sake of Our Souls

by Karen Lattea 06-01-1994

Try to imagine civil rights marches without the spirituals or South African freedom without toi-toi.

Ready for the Road

by Karen Lattea 04-01-1994
Carrie Newcomer on faith, folk and fun.


by Karen Lattea 05-01-1993

Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton provide their own juice

A Walk Through Time

by Karen Lattea 12-01-1992

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

by Karen Lattea 08-01-1992

Lou Reed once said of his live performances: "It's really like going to a concert."

Hope for the Wary Heart

by Karen Lattea 06-01-1992
"The Awakened Heart: Living Beyond Addiction" by Gerald G. May

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

by Karen Lattea 04-01-1992

Our community spiritual director

Heroes for the Road

by Karen Lattea 01-01-1992
Bruce Cockburn's "Nothing But a Burning Light"

Bruce Cockburn's "Nothing But a Burning Light"

The Rhythm of Bonnie's Blues

by Karen Lattea 08-01-1991

Bonnie Raitt's new offering tips her hand

Ending the Stigma and the Silence

by Karen Lattea 07-01-1991

What's in (publishing) a name?