BY ISN STAFF | October 22, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C.—From November 3-5, 2018, nearly 2,000 individuals will gather for the 21st annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C.
Each year, the gathering connects Catholic faith and justice, addressing timely issues through two days of dynamic speakers, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Known as the largest annual Catholic social justice gathering in the U.S., the Teach-In attracts attendees from over 135 Jesuit and other Catholic universities, high schools, and parishes in the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, Spain, and El Salvador. While all ages are represented at the event, the majority of attendees are ages 16-22.
On the morning of Monday, November 5, attendees gather at Columbus Circle in Washington, D.C., for a public witness to pray, listen to active advocates, and recommit to work for justice.
The Teach-In then culminates with what is estimated to be the largest Catholic advocacy day of the year. More than 1,500 individuals will proceed to legislative advocacy meetings with members of Congress and their staffs on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to enact immigration and criminal justice reform.
Initiated in 1997 in Columbus, Georgia, the Teach-In commences 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.
2018 presenters include Bishop George Murry, S.J., former chair of the USCCB Committee Against Racism and Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown in Ohio, Nichole Flores, Ph.D., Latinx theologian and faculty member at the University of Virginia, The Peace Poets, a collective of artists that celebrate, examine and advocate for life through music and poetry, Joanna Williams, director of education and advocacy at the Kino Border Initiative, and Fr. James Martin, S.J., bestselling author and editor-at-large at America Magazine.
“For more than two decades, the Teach-In has invited the Jesuit network and broader Catholic Church to reflect on the realities of injustice faced by many in the U.S. and beyond,” says Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “In a time of fear and division, this year’s theme invites attendees to understand the stories and lived experiences behind the issues to better understand the intersectional complexities of work for justice—and to find the courage to tackle those complexities in our shared work for justice.”
The 2018 theme, Discipleship at the Crossroads: The Courage to Journey Together as an Intersectional Community, invites participants to journey to the intersections of today’s most pressing and timely justice issues. Inspired by Pope Francis’s call to “try to listen and be silent in order to make space for the beauty of God,” attendees will be encouraged to “get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas” remembering that “the world is crisscrossed by roads that come together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.”
Plan to attend the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice as a member of the media? Register here.
The 2018 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is generously sponsored by Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Santa Clara University’s Jesuit School of Theology, America Media, University of San Francisco’s McGrath Institute, Contemplative Rebellion, Sojourners, Ethix Merch, the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology, International Samaritan, Villanova University, Be the Light Youth Theology Institute at Canisius College, Creighton University, the Kalmanovitz Institute for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University, Commonweal, Xavier University, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, the Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Jesuit Schools Network, Theology of Healing Earth in Action (THEA) Institute at Loyola University Chicago, University of Scranton, Loyola University Maryland Master of Theological Studies, Catholic Relief Services, Maryknoll Lay Missioners, the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, Bread for the World, National Catholic Reporter, and Loyola University Maryland School of Education’s Masters in Curriculum and Instruction for Social Justice.