Hannah Christensen

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Writing for Voices of Utah this semester has been eye-opening. I interviewed extraordinary individuals in the local Pacific Islander (PI) community.

One experience that was particularly inspiring was my interview with YWCA lead advocate, Puna Levenson. We discussed domestic violence and sexual assault within the PI community and the barriers, cultural constructs and the available resources.

This interview was personally impactful because I am a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Hearing about the resources and support available for all women was illuminating because I realized that by relying on the work others have done toward healing and hope, I can overcome my past and become an ally for others.

Being able to report on things that truly matter to me and the larger community, strengthens me personally and professionally. It is very empowering to tell the story of strong women and men who have survived many different traumas and challenges, especially when they use their pain and suffering to make the world a better place for others.

Writing about these people helped me to make my stories more human — more relatable. Sharing their stories reinforces my desire to fight for social justice for everyone. I am grateful that reporting this semester has made me a more empathetic writer.

My examination of and passion for social justice, especially for issues surrounding domestic abuse, made me more aware of other social justice issues, including poverty, limited resources, unawareness, distribution of political power, and equal opportunity for minority groups, especially in the work place.

I met people who are game-changers in the PI community. These players are people who want to make the world better for everyone — not just their immediate friends and families. My wish is that my writing, reporting, and other kinds of advocacy can do the same.

ABOUT ME: 

Hannah17Hannah Christensen wrote for Voices of Utah as a student journalist during spring 2018. Christensen is a marketing professional at the Career & Professional Development Center at the University of Utah, an office dedicated to the success of students during and after college. In her role as marketing coordinator and lead graphic designer, she often writes content for the website and marketing materials.

Christensen is a survivor of sexual assault and domestic abuse. This motivates her to be an influential writing professional. Through her writing, she hopes to serve as an ally, voice and beacon for others who have experienced abuse or trauma.

Christensen has her own graphic design business, Oh Hannah Design and will graduate in spring 2019 with a BA in Communication.