Jesuit Institutions Show Support for Undocumented Students on National Coming Out Day

United_We_Dream_Coming_Out_DayBY ISN STAFFApril 6, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fairfield University and Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine are two of over sixty institutions taking part in United We Dream’s National Institutions Coming Out Day in support of undocumented students on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

Nearly 50 schools including middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities and allied organizations from across the country will celebrate the day, committing to advocate for undocumented students in their schools in ways ranging from creating support groups or scholarship funds for undocumented students, to hosting undocumented student awareness days locally.

Earlier this year, United We Dream released a first of its kind toolkit to support these institutions and their educators and administrators as a resource to them on how they can assist undocumented students.

Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., president of Fairfield University expressed his excitement for Fairfield’s participation, saying, “Fairfield University is happy to recognize and support United We Dream’s “National Institutions Coming Out Day” and to demonstrate our ongoing support for undocumented students in higher education.” Fr. von Arx also highlighted the relationship between supporting undocumented students and Fairfield’s Jesuit Catholic mission when he said, “We believe that it is our moral responsibility — particularly as a Jesuit institution founded to serve first and second-generation college students, and committed to providing opportunities to those aspiring to realize their potential through education — to care and advocate for undocumented students.”

Fairfield University has demonstrated their commitment to undocumented students in many ways including the 2013 release of a research study analyzing the experiences of undocumented students in Jesuit higher education spearheaded by Fairfield faculty.

Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine has shown significant support for undocumented medical students, becoming the first school in the country to publicly accept undocumented medical students.  They welcomed their first class that included undocumented students in August 2014.

United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful nonpartisan network made up of 53 local groups and more than 120,000 members. UWD organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status, sexual orientation or gender identity. We seek to address the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth and believe that by empowering immigrant youth, we can advance the cause of the entire community—justice for all immigrants.

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