WASHINGTON, DC – Over 400 students from Jesuit college and universities across the United States will gather in Washington, DC, this weekend, November 16-18, for the 15th Annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ). The Teach-In, which is sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN), is an opportunity for 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.
More than 1,000 representatives from Jesuit colleges and universities, Jesuit high schools, Jesuit parishes, Jesuit volunteer communities, and many other Catholic institutions and organizations are expected to attend the Teach-In.
Started in 1997, in Columbus, Georgia, the IFTJ takes place in mid-November to commemorate the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador. The six Jesuit priests and two companions 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 from Georgia to Washington, DC, in 2010, to respond to the growing interest in integrating educational opportunities and legislative advocacy into the teach-in experience.
Keynote speakers at the 2012 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 50+ breakout sessions presented by national and international speakers including Most Rev. Bernard Unabali, Bishop of the Diocese of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.
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 and build momentum for ISN's Ignatian Family Advocacy Month in February 2013. Speakers include Rev. Richard Ryscavage, S.J., Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at Fairfield University.
The celebrant for the Teach-In Liturgy on Sunday, November 18, is Rev. Drew Kirchman, S.J., a teacher at Arrupe High School in Denver, Colorado.
The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is sponsored by the University of San Francisco, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, America Magazine, Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and Loyola Press.
For more information, please see the ISN website, http://ignatiansolidarity.net/iftj/
Christopher Kerr, ISN Executive Director, 216-410-7351 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Collins Di Leonardo, AJCU Vice President for Communications, email@example.com