Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice 2019

On November 18, join 1,500 IFTJ participants on Capitol Hill

How will it work?
Participants will will be provided with resources to dig into the issues prior to their arrival in Washington, D.C. and will continue digging in throughout the Teach-In. All Teach-In participants are offered an advocacy training with professional advocates and will be given support to help prepare for fruitful discussions with their elected Congresspersons.

Please note: Attendees interested in participating in the advocacy day are responsible for booking their own meetings. Any questions regarding booking meetings may be directed to José Arnulfo Cabrera at jacabrera@ignatiansolidarity.net or (216) 397-2087.

SCHEDULING YOUR ADVOCACY MEETINGS


Individual delegations are responsible for setting up visits with their Members of Congress. Delegations from CA, NY, MA, and OH will have their Senate meetings booked for them. Delegations from these states are asked to book their House meetings after 11:30am.

Before you schedule your advocacy meetings (August-October):

  • We recommend that each participant visits with his/her Representative and at least one Senator. Please have your participants meet with the Congresspersons tied to their voting addresses, rather than the school’s address. Your delegation may be meeting with multiple representatives and Senators (to account for delegates being from multiple districts.
  • Please decide if you will be advocating for immigration reform, environmental justice, or both issues in your meetings.

Delegations from CA, NY, MA, and OH: An ISN representative will reach out to you in September regarding your Senate meetings. If you have not heard from ISN representative by 10/1, please contact José Arnulfo Cabrera at jacabrera@ignatiansolidarity.net or (216) 397-2087.

Scheduling your advocacy meetings (start this at least FOUR weeks before the IFTJ)

1. Find the names and contact information for your Representative and Senators at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. Remember: we’re asking delegations to book meetings with the Congresspersons tied to participants’ voting addresses, not necessarily the school/parish address. 
2. Contact the scheduler in your Congressperson’s D.C. office and ask for an appointment with the Member or Legislative Assistant.

3. You may need to fax or email your appointment request. Sample request letters are available online.
4. Tell the scheduler the date & times you are available, the issues you want to discuss, and who will be present during the visit.
5. Confirm the visit by phone a day or two before the appointment.

How will it work?
Participants will be provided with resources to dig into the issues prior to their arrival in Washington, D.C. and will continue digging in throughout the Teach-In. All Teach-In participants are offered an advocacy training with professional advocates and will be given support to help prepare for fruitful discussions with their elected Congresspersons.

Please note: Attendees interested in participating in the advocacy day are responsible for booking their own meetings. Any questions regarding booking meetings may be directed to José Arnulfo Cabrera at jacabrera@ignatiansolidarity.net or (216) 397-2087.

Public Witness: Rain Plan

SCHEDULING YOUR SENATE MEETINGS


Due to the large size and amount of delegations from CA, NY, MA, and OH participating in advocacy day, ISN staff will be responsible for booking your Senate meetings. Please do not book your own Senate meetings. You may book House meetings on your own, but please try to book them after 11:30 am.

An ISN representative will reach out to you in early August to confirm if you would like to participate in a Senate meeting. To keep the size manageable for Congressional staff, ISN will be scheduling only one Senate meeting per school/parish.

Once your meeting has been scheduled, you will be asked to 1) select one representative from your delegation to be a meeting speaker (can be a student, parishioner, etc.) and 2) be part of a conference call with a delegation leader from each of the delegations to determine meeting roles and logistics. 

Timeline

By September 20: State captain will reach out to your delegation contact person to confirm if your delegation would like to participate in the Senate meeting.


By September 27:
Confirm with state captain how many members of your delegation will be participating in the Senate meeting.


By October 17:
Select one representative from your group to be responsible for speaking during the meeting. Since many of the Senate meetings will include 5+ delegations, it is important to limit the amount of speakers from each group.


October 28-November 1:
Take part in a conference call with representatives from the other delegations who will be part of your Senate meeting. During this call, you will: 1) determine which delegation will be responsible for specific speaking roles, 2) which issues you will be covering, and 3) logistics for helping the meetings flow smoothly.


November 17:
At minimum, the person who will be speaking for your school must attend the IFTJ advocacy training on Sunday, 11/17 for your state. It will provide a time for the speakers to meet each other prior to the advocacy day and try a quick meeting run-through.

PREPARING FOR YOUR MEETINGS


All Teach-In participants are offered a policy update and a small group advocacy training (a chance to role-play what a meeting looks like with seasoned advocates). However, ISN strongly recommends that delegations prepare for their advocacy meetings prior to the Teach-In! Preparation steps include: getting familiar with the talking points, attending the advocacy prep webinars, researching the issue positions of the Members you will be meeting with, dividing talking point responsibilities, and practicing talking points.

While participants will have the opportunity to participate in advocacy training on 11/17, 90-minutes is not the optimal amount of time to familiarize participants with talking points, receive coaching, and practice a meeting run-through. Delegations that prepare ahead of time enter advocacy day both more relaxed and prepared, which can help soothe the nerves of first-time advocates (and veterans too!). If you need any support in preparing for your meetings ahead of time, please contact José Cabrera at jacabrera@ignatiansolidarity.net.

If you have any joint meetings scheduled with another delegation, connect with the delegation’s leaders prior to the IFTJ to determine which advocacy issue(s) you will cover, and break up responsibilities for meeting roles. Contact José Cabrera at jacabrera@ignatiansolidarity.net for a meeting planner and suggestions on what to work out prior to your joint meeting.

Meeting Preparation Resources:

1. Advocacy Webinars

Please have at least one person from the group attend each of the advocacy webinars. There will be additional advocacy training and issue briefing at the Teach-In, but the webinars will increase your readiness for successful advocacy visits.

2. Advocacy Preparation Guides

IFTJ Advocacy Day Preparation Guide: This resource includes links to advocacy basics, tips on reflecting on the issues, researching your members of congress, and planning your meeting, and an IFTJ advocacy preparation timeline for September-November.

IFTJ Advocacy Day Preparation (Saint Louis University Edition): Learn about how Saint Louis University engages in a thorough advocacy day preparation process from April-November each year, with sample meeting ideas, a retreat day outline, timelines, and a breakdown of their student selection process and leadership teams. 

ADVOCACY 101

    1. Our faith tradition can help inform the way we approach our advocacy work.
      Review What makes advocacy Ignatian?
    2. Watch Advocacy Meetings: They’re Easier Than You Think!, produced by Saint Louis University; the video breaks down how to book, prepare for, and take part in an advocacy meeting with legislators
    3. Watch the advocacy 101 webinar (30-minutes) provided by our partners at NETWORK Catholic Social Justice Lobby
    4. Use the advocacy 101 slides (accompanying notes visible when downloaded)

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