Margaret Sessa-Hawkins


Washington DC

Margaret Sessa-Hawkins



Photos give powerful visibility to chronic illness

Erica Lupinacci and Allie Cashel both have chronic illnesses. But unless they tell you, there’s almost no way to know that — they don’t “look sick” or “act sick” most of the time. And this, they both say, can be difficult. “I think a lot of people, when you say you’re sick and when you tell someone your diagnosis, it can go two ways,” Lupinacci said.

Dark Money Group Received Massive Donation In Fight Against Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee

A dark money organization that spent $7 million to block former President Obama’s Supreme Court pick received just three donations between 2015 and 2016, but one transaction really counted: A single $17.9 million contribution from a mystery donor. The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), a Washington, D.C.
The Huffington Post Link to Story

Secretive Group Backs GOP Health Care Bill, Corporate Tax Cuts

A secretive nonprofit closely linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan has been playing a pivotal role in supporting Republican policies and candidates since the November 2016 election, a MapLight analysis has found. The American Action Network (AAN) has donated more than $6.5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) — a super PAC that has been the top-spending outside organization this year, pouring almost $10 million into GOP special election victories in Georgia and Montana.
The International Business Times Link to Story

White House Relied Upon Dark Money Lobbyist To “Quarterback” Gorsuch’s Confirmation

A lobbyist with extensive ties to secretive nonprofit organizations served as the “quarterback” for the successful nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, according to records reviewed by MapLight. Rob Collins, a Washington lobbyist and Republican strategist, claims on his professional biography at the S-3 Group that he worked with more than a half-dozen White House offices, the Department of Justice, the U.S.
Fast Company Link to Story

Can We Really Put An End To Plastic Waste?

Around the world, measures are being introduced to reduce the amount of plastic we manufacture and discard. While these efforts may be laudable, will they actually signal the end of plastic waste?
BirdLife International Link to Story

Farmers Face Uphill Battle in Right to Repair Tractors

This article was produced by MapLight in partnership with Civil Eats. When Tom Schwarz was growing up on his family’s 2,500-acre Nebraska produce farm and their International tractor broke down, fixing it was pretty simple. “You bought a new part,” said Schwarz, 58. “Or, you bought a used part. You replaced what was broken, and you moved on.”.

How ‘killing’ Pluto redefined the solar system

Mike Brown, California Institute of Technology astronomer and self-proclaimed Pluto killer, uttered these words exactly nine years ago today after the International Astronomers Union (IAU) officially revoked Pluto’s planetary status. Since then, we’ve continued to ponder Pluto, with our obsession culminating this summer when the New Horizons spacecraft cruised by the celestial object on July 14.

A Lingering Flavor

Gastronomica Magazine Link to Story

The Color of Loss: On the Passing of Sir Terry Pratchett

On March 12, a tweet from his official Twitter account announced that Sir Terry Pratchett, a fantasy author whose books have sold more than 75 million copies in over 37 languages, had passed away. Since he was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy, a rare form of Alzheimer’s in 2007, fans knew that Pratchett’s days were numbered.
The Millions Link to Story

Private foundations funded push for Common Core standards

The breakdown of the grants shows that the Gates foundation has given out over $200 million, the Carnegie foundation $47.8 million, Helmsley $20 million, and Hewlett just over $15 million. Other foundations, such as the Broad foundation, report giving extensively to organizations associated with the planning, development and implementation of the Common Core, but do not cite specific amounts contributed.


It takes Personality to sing jazz. Personality, with a capital P. Something about the music demands charisma and self-assurance, a stage presence that is almost second nature. From the moment Lillian Boutté walks onstage it is clear that she possesses all these traits. From the moment she sings her first note, it is also clear that she has a voice to match.

Love in the time of football

It was midway through the college football season when my boyfriend, Alan, turned to me and said, “Let me ask you something, do you think my long hair has anything to do with the fact that Notre Dame is currently undefeated?”. The question caught me slightly off-guard. Even though we have been dating for more than two years now, it has been a bit of a process coming to terms with the prominence Notre Dame football holds in Alan’s life.


Margaret Sessa-Hawkins

I am a writer, journalist and radio personality who has worked for high-profile organizations such as the PBS NewsHour and the BBC. I also have a body of freelance and creative work that has been published in outlets including The Scotsman, Notre Dame magazine, and Gastronomica magazine. I have an abiding passion for the Oxford comma, but am willing to compromise for the sake of an organization's editorial style.



  • Sound editing
  • Writing
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • IsiXhosa
  • Chitumbuka
  • Indesign
  • Microsoft Office
  • Basic HTML