Assistant News Editor, sojo.net

Mitchell Atencio is the assistant news editor at Sojourners. He first served as a contract reporter for Sojourners in 2020.

Mitchell believes his role as a journalist is to ask compelling questions of the right people, and to tell stories that impact the actions of readers. He loves writing stories of the radical or unique — especially within faith. Before joining Sojourners, Mitchell was a reporter in Kirkland, Wash. At Arizona State University he was a passionate and dedicated member of the award-winning, independent, student-newspaper The State Press. He also graduated with a degree in journalism and mass communications, but he doesn’t care as much about that part.

Although he didn’t stay long enough, Mitchell is proud to have been born in Atlanta and dreams of returning soon.

In journalism and elsewhere, Mitchell advocates for the physical medium. He is a vinyl record collector; a film photographer who shoots, develops, and scans his own film; a magazine subscriber; and a fan of writing letters on the family typewriter. In his spare time, he reads liberation theology, practices Zen, watches a lot of football, and makes coffee with a variety of methods. Mitchell is discalced out of religious commitment; he concedes it probably makes him a hippie.

Posts By This Author

The People Ensuring Your Ballot Is Counted

by Mitchell Atencio 11-03-2020

Election worker processes mail-in ballots ahead of Election Day in Houston. Nov. 2, 2020. REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, mail-in voting has increased drastically in the 2020 election. Of the almost 100 million votes cast before Election Day, nearly 64 million of those were mail-in ballots. Though states have different rules and methods for mail-in ballots, voters across the country encountered a new question this election: “How do I know my vote was counted?”

More Than 800 Faith Leaders Are Ready to De-Escalate Election Tension

by Mitchell Atencio 11-02-2020

Demonstrators at an interfaith rally in Philadelphia in August 2017. Photo: Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com

According to a recent survey, nearly 70 percent of people in the U.S. are worried voters will be harassed or intimidated on Election Day; the same survey found that more than three-quarters of Americans worry there will not be a peaceful transition of power after the election. But community leaders and clergy are determined to avoid a violent outcome.

These Congregations Are on a Creative Quest for 100 Percent Voter Turnout

by Mitchell Atencio 10-27-2020
And they made a lot of phone calls.

Images: Shutterstock / Design: Candace Sanders

Faith communities across the U.S. are looking to help further democracy by ensuring that 100 percent of the eligible voters in their congregations turn out for the 2020 election. 

Can All Churches Survive in this Pandemic?

by Mitchell Atencio 04-30-2020

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

The threat to churches across the country, especially churches in low-income areas, caused Justin Giboney, President of the AND Campaign, to start the Churches Helping Churches Challenge. The goal: raise $500,000 in the month of April from financially secure churches, and distribute one-time grants to small churches with financial hardship.

The U.S. Prison System Poses a Public Health Threat

by Mitchell Atencio 04-02-2020

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside of Rikers Island, where multiple cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, in Queens, New York City, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

While many adjust to a new normal of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic, others are sounding the alarm, warning of the vulnerability of those in America’s prisons and jails.

“If I’m not speaking for the least and the last — and a large group of those are incarcerated people — then who will speak for them?” Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown of Plymouth United Church of Christ in Seattle, told Sojourners. “My solidarity most certainly must be attached to those who are most vulnerable.”