For the past 22 years, the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice has been a place for members of the Ignatian family, that is, people of all ages inspired by faith and the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola to work for justice, to be empowered, re-energized, inspired, challenged, and supported by a community that sees faith and justice as integrally linked. From early years at the gates of Fort Benning in Georgia to the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Teach-In has a rich history rooted in honoring the Jesuits and their lay companions who were martyred in El Salvador in 1989 for their commitment to standing with those pushed to the margins of society.
In light of COVID-19, the Teach-In will be moving once again, this year to a screen near you. The Ignatian Solidarity Network affirms the dignity of every person involved in our event—from our staff, volunteers, and attendees, to hotel staff, transportation employees, and beyond—and the best way to protect the health and safety of all is to gather remotely this year.
While we will miss the chance to gather in person, we are presented with a unique opportunity to more deeply connect and to engage the breadth of the Ignatian network. This year, the Teach-In is more than a weekend-long conference; we have expanded to a full week of programming plus a 365-day opportunity for members of the Ignatian family to connect—including both with those down the street and around the world. Using a powerful online event platform, the Teach-In will immerse you in the same renowned speakers, inspiring and challenging breakouts, communal prayer and liturgy, advocacy training and virtual advocacy opportunities, and networking with dynamic faith and justice organizations. Using the power of a virtual space to connect our network, the 2020 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice will serve as a launching point for new ways of collaboratively seeking a more just world.
For those who have experienced the Teach-In in the past, please know that iconic elements of our time together will not be lost, including roll calls, energizing musical performances, inspiring speakers from all parts of the Ignatian family, the Prayer for the Jesuit Martyrs, and the powerful closing liturgy.
We look forward to unveiling the first virtual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in the coming weeks and continuing to work together in our shared mission.
Christopher Kerr, ISN Executive Director