University Social Justice Student Leaders Converge at ISN Leadership Summit

BY ISN STAFFJanuary 13, 2012




SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – Twenty-seven student leaders from Jesuit and other Catholic universities across the country are converging on San Francisco, California, for the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s 2nd annual University Leadership Summit from January 13-15, 2012 at the Mercy Retreat Center in Berlingame.  The ISN University Leadership Summit invites emerging leaders for social justice to spend a weekend strengthening their capacity to effect positive social change while deepening their understanding of the relationship between faith and justice emphasized in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Students attending the Summit represent the following U.S. universities: Boston College, Gonzaga University, John Carroll University, Le Moyne College, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Maryland, Regis University, Rockhurst University, Saint Joseph’s University, Saint Louis University, St. Mary’s College of California, Santa Clara University, Seattle University, and University of San Francisco.

Throughout the weekend students will explore the Social Change Model of Leadership, examine the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola and his call to become “men and women for others,” engage with fellow campus leaders, and with the support of experienced facilitators, develop personal action plans to translate leadership skills into programs on campus.  ISN executive director, Christopher Kerr, reflected on the program’s intentions by saying, “ISN is committed to developing emerging leaders for solidarity and justice.  The university students who attend the Summit bring tremendous passion and desire to be leaders.  The Summit provides them a community of peers to gain energy from and stay networked with long after the program ends.”

Students who participated in 2011 have returned to campus to engage their peers in a variety of issues from environmental education to the development of significant non-profit initiatives.  When asked about the impact of the program, ISN program director Kim Miller said, “Through my interactions with last year’s summit attendees, it is clear that the opportunity to further form student’s leadership skills grounded in spirituality and justice can have great impacts for their campus and beyond.”  Andrew Lunetta, a Le Moyne College student who attended the 2011 Summit developed a program called “Pedal to Possibilities that provides individuals who are homeless in Syracuse, New York, access to bicycles for transportation and exercise.  More information about this program can be found at: http://www.pedaltopossibilities.org/

The Summit is led by a diverse team of facilitators that began planning in the fall.  The leadership team is comprised of: Helen Alatorre, Associate Director of the Center for Student Leadership & Development at Loyola Marymount University; Jerry Cobb, S.J.,  provincial assistant for formation and higher education for the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus; and Michael Nuttall, program director for student immersions of the Ignatian Center for Justice Education at Santa Clara Unviersity.  Cobb and Nuttall also served on the facilitation team in 2011.


The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) 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 501c3 non-profit organization.  Additional information can be found at: www.www.ignatiansolidarity.net


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