National Social Justice Conference in Washington D.C.
A delegation of students and staff from Xavier University will join nearly 1,000 others at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ), a national conference about social justice grounded in the Catholic Social Teaching and the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The 15th annual Teach-In will be in Washington, DC, from November 16-18, 2012 and is sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
The Teach-In is an opportunity for members of the Ignatian family (those connected with Jesuit institutions and the larger church) to come together in the context of social justice to learn, network, reflect, and act for justice. Teach-In attendees represent twenty-eight Jesuit universities, over twenty-five Jesuit high schools, Jesuit parishes, Jesuit volunteer communities, and many other Catholic institutions and organizations.
IFTJ takes place in mid-November to commemorate the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador. Six Jesuit priests and two others were murdered on November 16, 1989, in El Salvador for their work advocating on behalf of the economically poor in that country. The IFTJ moved to Washington, DC, in 2010 to respond to the growing interest in integrating educational opportunities and legislative advocacy into the Teach-in experience.
“We are grateful to have the Xavier University delegation at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice,” said Christopher Kerr, ISN executive director. “The annual Teach-In is a unique place to explore the relationship between faith and social justice while networking with others who share the same passion. We are also hopeful that the issue education and advocacy training the Xavier participants receive at the Teach-In will prepare them to be effective advocates during Ignatian Family Advocacy Month in February 2013.” Ignatian Family Advocacy Month (IFAM) is a national effort initiated by ISN to build on the experiences at the Teach-In.
Keynote speakers at the IFTJ include:
Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J., director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans;
Merlys Mosquera Chamat, regional director of Jesuit Refugee Services-Latin America and Caribbean;
Gabriel Bol Deng, founding director of Hope for Ariang, and former Lost Boy of Sudan;
Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, executive director of NETWORK Catholic Social Justice Lobby.
The Teach-In also offers breakout sessions presented by national and international speakers. On Saturday evening, attendees will gather at Lower Senate Park (adjacent to Capitol Hill) for a public vigil to call attention to the importance of legislative advocacy in working for social justice.
The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is sponsored by the University of San Francisco, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkley, America Magazine, Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and Loyola Press.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network promotes leadership and advocacy among students, alumni, and other emerging leaders from Jesuit schools, parishes, and ministries by educating its members on social justice issues; by mobilizing a national network to address those issues; and by encouraging a life-long commitment to the “service of faith and the promotion of justice.” ISN is an independent lay-led 501(c)(3) organization. More information can be found at: www.ignatiansolidarity.net