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Introducing... Hope Zigterman

Hope is the newest member of the Office of Social Justice team. She joins our team this week as the Justice Mobilizing and Advocacy Fellow, a one year position with our office. Hope comes to us with a background in Political Science after attending Gordon College in Massachusetts. Most recently Hope worked as an English teacher in Jordan.  

We are thrilled to welcome Hope to the team!

1. Who is one of your social justice heroes?

I don’t know if I’ve ever been asked this question before, so I’m not sure if I have a good answer. However, I recently finished reading Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, a book that looks at the criminal justice system and the injustices inherent in it, especially along the lines of race. He has done amazing work fighting for the rights of death row inmates and helping bring about restorative justice with his non-profit, the Equal Justice Initiative. I also admire the many women who have advanced the women’s rights movement and championed other social justice causes along the way.

2. You have a degree in political science. What has been one of the most formative experiences or lessons learned from either your education or work in that field?

I am most thankful for a class I took in college called Justice. The class discussed the different theories of justice proposed throughout most of western history. It opened my eyes to the western liberal tradition that had formed so much of my worldview without me realizing it, and it gave me a desire to expose myself to other worldviews and ultimately led me to Jordan to do just that.

3. Tell us about a time you have been inspired by your congregation or church.

Each year my congregation, Lombard Christian Reformed Church, sends out care packages to its college-age young people that always include encouraging notes from members of the congregation. When I received mine, I was struck by the amount of people who were supporting me and praying for me. It reminded me of the promises the congregation makes at a child’s baptism to love and encourage the child as they grow in faith. My church had made those promises to me when I was baptized, and they have been faithful to them, just as God has also been faithful.

4. You just got back from teaching English in Jordan. What were some of the most formative experiences you had while you lived and taught in Jordan and how you think that experience will enrich your work in the area of social justice?

The country of Jordan is beautiful for both the people within it and the landscapes that shape it, and I will forever be grateful for my time there and the lessons God taught me while I was there. I worked in a high-stress environment that left me daily discouraged and brought me face-to-face with my own sinfulness. To keep coming to work everyday required relying on God and trusting in his faithfulness. The past three years, through much encouragement and support from the people around me, produced perseverance, a characteristic much needed when working on issues of social justice. So often, what we try to do as we work to build the kingdom of God on earth by pursuing justice fails. However, instead of giving up, we need to persevere and work towards those incremental gains that will bring justice and hope to the most vulnerable in our societies who God calls us over and over again throughout scriptures to help.

5. What TV show or book character or best embodies you and why?

I love Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. Her blind determination is both hilarious and endearing, but also inspiring. Mostly I love Leslie Knope’s desire to serve her community and make it a better place. I also strongly identify with her love of breakfast food.


The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

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