Home Climate justice Students develop vision and skills as organizers at the 2022 Ignatian Justice Summit

Students develop vision and skills as organizers at the 2022 Ignatian Justice Summit

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BY KELLY SWAN | August 31, 2022

From July 26-29, 2022, more than forty students from fourteen Jesuit colleges and universities and other Catholic colleges and universities gathered for the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Ignatian Justice Summit, held this year at the ‘John Carroll University in University Heights, OH.

Participants at the Ignatian Justice Summit 2022.

The summit offered two tracks – migration and environmental justice – and focused on training and practical tools for students to act as organizers on their campuses and in their wider communities.

Students develop vision and skills as organizers at the 2022 Ignatian Justice Summit

Summit participants discuss migration justice with ISN Coordinator for Youth Engagement, Jorge Palacios (center) and Executive Director, Christopher Kerr (center right).

The Summit provided a foundation on Righteous Work through an Ignatian lens – setting the context for Jesuit mission, Ignatian spirituality and Catholic social teaching. “When I think of justice work and Ignatian values ​​and spirituality, I always remember that I am in love with this work because Jesus calls us to love, accept and be in solidarity with every human being from all walks of life,” Andrew shared. Boeckman, a student at Loyola Marymount University, after the Summit. “I truly feel that by caring for and prioritizing the needs of those on the margins, I am living my faith through justice work.”

Students were guided through opportunities to imagine what a just world might look like, then provided with tools, training, and resources to implement work toward that goal.

Students develop vision and skills as organizers at the 2022 Ignatian Justice Summit

Summit attendees learn organizing skills from Paul Campion, a Sunrise Movement organizer. Campion is a graduate of Gonzaga College High School and Loyola University Chicago and participated in a hunger strike outside the White House in the fall of 2021, demanding that President Biden keep his campaign promise to adopt a climate policy that matches the urgency and scale. of the current climate emergency.

“I would say education and relationships are the two most important things I took away from this Summit,” said Nora McKee, a student at John Carroll University. “I feel much more empowered to be able to return to campus this semester and be able to put my ideas into action both with my new relationships and with my new way of thinking about how to organize properly and effectively.”

Participants also had the opportunity to network with other students, both from their own institutions and from other colleges and universities across the country, to share ideas, best practices and build relationships.

Students develop vision and skills as organizers at the 2022 Ignatian Justice Summit

Summit attendees at Edgewater Park on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, OH.

“My favorite thing about the Summit was building community with other students from Jesuit universities around the country,” Boeckman said. “It’s always good to have community and connections on your campus when doing justice work, but when I was able to speak with others doing similar work on their campuses, I been able to bounce everyone’s ideas and thoughts on how we can improve on issues unique to our campuses and cities.

Ignatian Justice Summit presenters included Brenna Davis, ISN Director of Integral Ecology, Paul Campion, Sunrise Movement Organizer, Sr. Erin McDonald, Campus Minister at the University of Detroit Mercy, Annie Fox , Provincial Assistant for Social Ministry Organization for Jesuits West and Melanie Minuche, Climate Justice Organizer for Alianza Americas.

“Something that will carry on with me from IJS is the passion I felt from my fellow students about the importance of organizing others for justice,” shared Henry Glynn, a student at Creighton University. “I came away with a heightened sense of ‘if not us, then who? “”

Schools represented include Creighton University, Fordham University, Georgetown University, Gonzaga University, John Carroll University, Loyola Marymount University, Quincy University, Saint Joseph’s University, Saint Louis University, Saint Peter’s University, Santa Clara University, Seattle University, the University of Detroit Mercy, Villanova University and Xavier University.

Learn more about student impact at the 2022 Ignatian Justice Summit: