BY ISN STAFF | October 27, 2017
Participants Will Urge Congress to Enact Immigration and Criminal Justice Reform
WASHINGTON, D.C.—On the morning of Monday, November 6, 2017, more than 1,400 young voices, representing U.S. Jesuit and other Catholic high schools, universities, parishes, and other ministries, will gather for what is estimated to be the largest Catholic advocacy day of the year.
Attendees will gather at Columbus Circle at 9 a.m. for a public witness for prayer and speeches from passionate advocates in the areas of immigration and criminal justice, grounded in human dignity and Catholic social justice tradition.
Public witness speakers include José Cabrera, a senior at Xavier University who is undocumented and an immigration reform activist, and representatives from Homeboy Industries, a non-governmental organization in inner-city Los Angeles providing hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women.
Following the public witness, delegations will travel to Capitol Hill to engage legislators and their staffs in dialogue about the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s call to enact immigration reform including the passage of the Dream Act of 2017, and to advocate for a racially-just criminal justice system.
The day of advocacy is the culmination of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, hosted by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, held on Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5 in the D.C. area, which convenes over 2,000 delegates from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and El Salvador.
Initiated in 1997 in Columbus, Georgia, the Teach-In occurs yearly in mid-November to commemorate the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador. The six Jesuit priests and their two companions were murdered on November 16, 1989 for speaking out against the country’s tumultuous civil war. The Teach-In relocated from Georgia to Washington, D.C. in 2010 in response to the growing interest in legislative advocacy and accompanying educational opportunities.
“Now is a critical time to call on Congress to pass the Dream Act of 2017,” says Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “Ignatian family advocates will bring the human face of immigration to Capitol Hill with stories of peers, friends, and family members marginalized by our existing immigration policy.”
The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN), is a lay-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that networks, educates, and forms advocates for social justice animated by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the witness of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador and their companions.