How will it work?
Participants will will be provided with resources to dig into the issues prior to their arrival in Washington, D.C. and will continue digging in throughout the Teach-In. All Teach-In participants are offered an advocacy training with professional advocates and will be given support to help prepare for fruitful discussions with their elected Congresspersons.
Please note: Attendees interested in participating in the advocacy day are responsible for booking their own meetings. Any questions regarding booking meetings may be directed to Kim Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org
Setting Up Your Advocacy Visits
Individual delegations are responsible for setting up visits with their Members of Congress. Delegations from CA, NY, OH, MD, and MA will have their Senate meetings booked for them. Delegations from these states are asked to book their House meetings after 11:30am.
We recommend that each participant visits with his/her Representative and at least one Senator. If you’re booking meetings for a delegation, it’s possible your delegation will be meeting with multiple representatives (to account for delegates being from multiple districts).
Prior to booking your meetings, please consult our priority members list (to be emailed in September). If you or any of your delegates are from a priority member’s district or state, please prioritize scheduling a meeting with this person related to the noted issue.
If you need help booking your advocacy meetings, please contact Kim Miller at email@example.com or
How to Set Up Your Meetings:
Start this at least FOUR weeks before the IFTJ
2. Contact the scheduler in your Congressperson’s office and ask for an appointment with the Member or Legislative Assistant.
3. You may need to fax your appointment request. Sample request letters are available online.
4. Tell the scheduler the date & times you are available, the issues you want to discuss, and who will be present during the visit.
5. Confirm the visit by phone a day or two before the appointment.
6. Let ISN know when you have set up a meeting using our meeting registration form.
Preparing for Your Meetings
All Teach-In participants are offered a policy update and a small group advocacy training (a chance to role play what a meeting looks like with seasoned advocates). However, ISN recommends that delegations prepare for their advocacy meetings prior to the Teach-In. Preparation steps include: getting familiar with the talking points, researching the issue positions of the Members you will be meeting with, dividing talking point responsibilities, and practicing talking points.
Meeting Preparation Resources:
1. Skype or In-Person Advocacy Trainings From Professional Advocates
If you would like to connect with a professional advocate to discuss strategy or receive and advocacy training via Skype, please contact Kim Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or (216) 397-2080. In some cases, you may also be able to schedule an in-person advocacy training with a professional advocate prior to the Teach-In.
2. Advocacy Prep Webinars
All delegations who are participating in advocacy meetings are strongly encouraged to have at least one person from the group present for each of the issue-focused prep meetings. There will be additional advocacy training and issue briefing at the Teach-In, but the webinars will increase your readiness for successful advocacy visits.
To register for webinars, please visit: bit.ly/IFTJWebinarReg
Advocacy 101: October 12, 4-4:45 PM ET
Immigration: October 13, 4-4:45 PM ET
U.S. Policy Toward Central America: October 14, 4-4:45 PM ET
Environmental Justice: October 15, 4-4:45 PM ET
3. Ignatian Advocacy 101 Training Guide
The training guide for schools and communities features tips for advocacy meeting preparation and follow-up, a 90-minute training agenda, sample advocacy letters, meeting planners, and more!
Will the Congressperson publically support and vote for a bill that includes the following principles?
- Create an accessible pathway to citizenship for all 11 million people without documentation;
- Work to maintain family unity in all elements of the immigration system;
- Protect the most vulnerable, especially refugees and asylum seekers;
- Respect the rights of U.S. and immigrant workers;
- Ensure the human rights of immigrant families as our immigration laws are enforced.
Will the Congressperson be vocal in opposition of legislation that devalues immigrants and the contributions they make to our communities and economy?
- Oppose bills proposing the elimination of funding for sanctuary cities and other welcoming programs
- End programs and protocols such as Operation Streamline, the detention bed mandate, and family detention
- Protect and uphold DACA as we wait for legislative solutions to our broken immigration system
U.S. Policy Toward Central America
We ask the Obama Administration and Congress to:
- Invest in the right of Central Americans to remain at home: The U.S. should work with Central American civil society organizations to hold governments in the region accountable. These governments must address the need of Honduran, Guatemalan and Salvadoran people to live in safe and sustainable communities, rather than doubling-down on the militarization of Central American societies.
- The U.S. must not encourage or finance programs that fuel violence in Central America or degrade the ability of people fleeing violence to access safety in other countries: Congress should condition all security sector funding to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador on respect for human rights. The U.S. must end programs that seek to militarize the borders of Central America and Mexico with the particular goal of cutting off access to asylum for people fleeing targeted and generalized violence. These programs endanger the lives of people seeking safety and run counter to our country’s obligations under international law.
- Ensure that Central Americans fleeing harm have a full and fair process for accessing refugee status and other protections: The U.S. must live up to its values of fairness and justice, ensuring that children and families seeking safety within our borders have the ability to tell their stories and have their cases evaluated within an age appropriate and timely system. We must not water down protections meant to ensure that traumatized and terrorized victims of persecution, torture, or trafficking have the ability to make their case for humanitarian relief in the U.S. In particular, the use of detention degrades access to due process, legal representation, and refugee protection.
We ask Congress to support policies that:
- Increase climate financing to address the needs of the 3 billion people most at risk to the consequences of climate change by fulfilling, and seeking to exceed, the $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate fund;
- Exercise U.S. global leadership in the Paris climate talks in December 2015 to achieve a legally binding, transparent and accountable global climate change treaty, preserving our natural world for future generations.
- Drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions—in line with principles of historical responsibility and capacity—to keep the world on track for no more than a 1.5 degree Centigrade increase in global average temperature. This includes decreasing investments in fossil fuels and increasing investments in green energy.
Ignatian Advocacy 101: A Training Guide for Schools and Communities
Ignatian Solidarity Network
VIDEO: The Amnesty ABC’s: Learning to Lobby
Ecumenical Advocacy Days
Tips for preparing for a meeting and advocacy meeting role play videos
Where Does Your Representative Stand on the Issues?
U.S. Policy Toward Central America
ISN’s U.S. Policy Toward Central America Resource Page
Letter to Rep. Boehner from Tom Smolich, S.J. Regarding Unaccompanied Minors
Why Are People Fleeing Central America?
U.S. Jesuit Conference
Why Children Are Fleeing Central America
Bread for the World
Resources for Teachers on Central America
Teaching for Change