May 2011 cover of Sojourners
|Based in||Washington, D.C.|
Sojourners is a progressive monthly magazine and daily online publication of the American Christian social justice organization Sojourners, which arose out of the Sojourners Community. It was first published in 1971 under the original title of The Post-American. The magazine and online publication feature reporting, commentary, and analysis on Christianity and politics, the church and social issues, social justice, and Christian living. Articles frequently feature coverage of fair trade, interfaith dialogue, peacemaking, and work to alleviate poverty. The offices of the magazine are in Washington, D.C.
Sojourners has consistently won awards from both the Associated Church Press and the Evangelical Press Association. In 2008 and 2009, "Sojourners" won the first place "best in class" award from both religious press associations.
Sojourners magazine was originally published under the name The Post American, coming out of the Sojourners Community. The name was changed to "Sojourners" in 1975, when the community moved from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, to Columbia Heights in Washington, D.C. The mission of Sojourners is "to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world."
The magazine was originally published quarterly, then every other month, and since January 2004 has been published eleven times per year, with a single issue published for September and October.
The Sojourners Collection is maintained by Wheaton College in its Archives and Special Collections. Collected materials include magazine issues, correspondence, original manuscripts and administrative papers, as well as information on the Sojourners Community, founder Wallis, and other communities and organizations affiliated with the publisher.
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Contributing editors include Diana Butler Bass, Daniel Berrigan, Melvin Bray, Walter Brueggemann, Majora Carter, Joan Chittister, Eugene Cho, Shane Claiborne, Danny Duncan Collum, David M. Csinos, Edwidge Danticat, Marie Dennis, John DiIulio, E. J. Dionne, Valerie Elverton Dixon, Cathleen Falsani, Becky Garrison, Wes Granberg-Michaelson, Adam Hamilton, Vincent Harding, Lisa Sharon Harper, Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., Gareth Higgins, Joel Hunter, Lynne Hybels, Daisy Khan, Anne Lamott, Bill McKibben, Brian McLaren, Donald Miller, Ched Myers, Eboo Patel, John Perkins, Samuel Rodriguez, Richard Rohr, Ronald Sider, Barbara Brown Taylor, Cornel West, Lauren Winner, Valerie Weaver-Zercher, Tyler Wigg Stevenson, and Bill Wylie-Kellermann.
Along with the magazine, Sojourners also produces a website. The organization publishes resources on a number of social justice and faith issues; it sponsors a year of voluntary service; and it engages the wider Christian community through mobilizing, media outreach, speaking, teaching, preaching, and public events. Over the years, Sojourners has provided leadership and support to various other activities including the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, the Free South Africa movement, and opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other concerns.
Sojourners CEO Wallis served as a member of President Barack Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Community Partnerships, which advises the president and White House staff on a range of concerns. Sojourners has organized high-level meetings with the White House and political leaders on both sides of the aisle.
Then-Senator Barack Obama gave his first major speech on the subject of religion in the public sphere at Sojourners' Call to Renewal conference in 2006, talking about his personal faith journey and his vision for people of faith in public life.
Sojourners CEO Wallis spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in a primetime plenary session titled "Rethinking Values in the Post-Crisis World". Wallis is currently the chair for the Global Agenda Council on Values at the World Economic Forum, which is launching a moral economy dialogue to bring together faith leaders and top executives to advance the values that should inform the global economy.
Sojourners informed and mobilized faith leaders and their grassroots constituents to help pass financial reform through Congress. Wallis' latest book, published in January 2010, is Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street and Your Street. As part of his nationwide book tour, Wallis was interviewed on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Morning Joe on MSNBC, and PBS's The Tavis Smiley Show. The Jon Stewart interview and the first chapter of Wallis' book, "Sunday School with Jon Stewart", are on Sojourners' website.
Sojourners served as a lead organization building support for health care reform. President Barack Obama and Wallis spoke on a teleconference call about health-care reform. Audio from the call has now been played more than 300,000 times. Sojourners also organized a campaign challenging opponents of reform. Its constituents sent 100,000 emails to national media opponents of health-care reform and their advertisers. In addition, Wallis debated leading opponents of health-care reform on national television. Sojourners distributed health-care reform resources to 30,000 pastors. In 2009, Sojourners brought together 1,153 faith leaders and activists who met with the offices of 84 senators and 213 representatives to advocate for health-care reform.
Sojourners is leading faith groups in support of comprehensive immigration work through its Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform campaign. As a June 2010 Brookings Institution panel on "Religious Activism and the Debate over Immigration Reform" affirmed, "largely because of the activism of these religious groups, immigration has remained on a legislative agenda crowded with other pressing domestic concerns." Sojourners' letter to President Obama - calling for leadership on immigration reform that reflects the nation's best values - was signed by more than 40 prominent faith leaders and 28 national organizations. Sojourners was one of the primary faith organizers of the March 21, 2010, national immigration rally that brought 200,000 people to Washington, D.C. As part of a coalition of evangelical groups, Sojourners came out in full support for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants as part of any immigration reform legislation in the United States on March 18, 2013. Wallis stated that it was part of a "sea change" in the evangelical community, driven in part by the increasing numbers of immigrants in congregations. He went on to state that evangelical leaders have concluded that "we don't believe there are second-class images of God, and therefore we don't believe in a second-class status for people who are willing to follow an earned path to citizenship."
Sojourners urged constituents to reduce energy use and advocate for laws that hold polluters accountable, support green energy technology, and prioritize people and the planet above corporate interests. It mobilized its grassroots base and engaged in advocacy at the highest levels in support of action to stop climate change. Faith leaders called for increasing funding from Congress to help the most vulnerable communities worldwide who are affected by climate change. Wallis led a delegation of faith leaders who traveled to the Gulf of Mexico for a listening tour sponsored by the Sierra Club. A reporter from CNN participated in the delegation and covered the Gulf Coast tour.
In 2011 Sojourners' website, sojo.net, rejected a Mother's Day advertisement from Believe Out Loud that featured a same-sex couple.
Wallis and other faith leaders played an important behind-the-scenes role in preventing the Quran burning by pastor Terry Jones on September 11, 2010. Wallis' opinion piece in The Washington Post's "Sunday Outlook" section describes the role he and other faith leaders played. The article also highlights how the welcoming stance of a church in Tennessee had global implications in Pakistan and what that could teach us about interfaith understanding and fighting terrorism. The column was reprinted in newspapers globally, including in publications with predominantly Muslim audiences.
Leading up to President Obama's decision on strategy on Afghanistan, Sojourners proposed a new way forward, calling on Obama to pull together advisers from the most effective development organizations on the ground in Afghanistan. Sojourners engaged in a leadership campaign on Afghanistan that included conversations with the White House, a letter signed by 25 national interfaith leaders, and a grassroots advocacy campaign. More than 17,000 Sojourners constituents signed the letter and contacted the White House. Sojourners staff met with White House officials and hand-delivered the letter. InterAction, a coalition of 187 nongovernmental relief and development organizations focused on the world's poorest and most vulnerable people, issued a letter of support for Sojourners' approach.
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Sojourners served as one of the lead organizers for an advocacy track at Urbana, the largest evangelical youth missions conference in the United States. This was the first time Urbana has addressed advocacy as a topic. Sojourners, World Vision, and International Justice Mission jointly planned and led the advocacy track, and launched a new advocacy campaign: the Human Wrong Campaign that included an "advocacy campaign in a box" for students to implement on their campus. The campaign offered educational and action resources on child slavery, including bonded labor, sexual exploitation, and child soldiers.