Editorial Assistant

Born and raised in the Washington D.C. exurbia of Fredericksburg, Virginia, I recently graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and minors in Political Science and Business. Spending the past four years in the heart of the religious right was a very enlightening, albeit very frustrating, time in my life; more than anything, I walked away from Liberty with a thorough understanding of the foundational political and social divisions within Protestantism. I served as editor-in-chief of Liberty’s campus paper for the past year, during which time I led a newsroom that strove to publish unbiased and fact-centric content—challenging a university administration which sought to censor important issues and a campus culture that encourages Donald Trump’s belligerent fight against mainstream news outlets.

I became invested in social justice issues as a student journalist who spent a lot of time reporting on Lynchburg City’s pervasive problem with intergenerational poverty. Reading books and articles about poverty’s connection with other societal plagues—racial injustice, the school-to-prison pipeline, climate change—further impassioned me, and I became increasingly curious how Christianity fits into these issues, bringing me to Sojourners.

I find myself constantly reading a lot of non-fiction by talented journalists, namely There are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz, The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad and Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover, and I enjoy hiking, D.C. sports, and documentaries about things I don’t know about.

Posts By This Author

Catholic Shareholder Activists Challenge Private Prison System

by Will Young 05-06-2019

In the past the results of shareholder activism with private prisons, at best, have been mixed. A very similar resolution was introduced in 2016; it garnered a mere 24 percent of shareholder votes. But even if the upcoming resolution were to get 50 percent or more of the shareholder votes at the meeting, resolutions are not binding for any private company.

Who Built Your Pew?

by Will Young 04-24-2019
In some Iowa churches, the Sunday offering supports the prison industrial complex.

STEVE KLAWONN, pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Evansdale, Iowa, was near the end of a seven-year church redesign when he scoured the internet for new church furniture—with no promising leads.

“Needless to say, church furniture prices tend to be pretty high,” he said.

In a climate where church attendance is declining and houses of worship are looking for creative ways to stay in operation, solid wood pulpits and lecterns are expensive investments. In nearby Humbolt, family-owned Gunder Church Furniture sells a winged pulpit for $1,546; a matching lectern goes for $1,078. Klawonn liked the idea of choosing an in-state manufacturer, but affordability was key.

Death Row Chaplains Confront Hurdles In Mass System of Injustice

by Will Young 12-19-2018

The day before Adam Ward was slated to be executed, he sat in a visitation booth at the Allan B. Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas with Rev. DeAnna Golsan, a woman he had never met before. During the months prior, the two — Golsan, a Texan pastor who believed in the merit and morality of the death penalty, and Ward, a man who was sentenced to death — had become unexpected pen pals after being connected by Ward’s mother, an attendee of Golsan’s church. Golsan felt she knew him well, yet, upon meeting Ward, she was forced to confront that the 33-year-old soft-spoken man who cared mostly about his mother was somehow slated for death.