Large-Scale Breakouts

Large-Scale Breakout Sessions

Customize your Teach-In experience by selecting from one of our seven large-scale breakout sessions on Saturday evening.

James Martin, S.J. at IFTJ 13

On Pilgrimage With Jesus

What does it mean to follow the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith?  What does it mean to pray to someone who understands us?  What does it mean to be a disciple committed to his love for justice?

James Martin, S.J.

Author and Editor-at-Large, America Magazine

 Rev. James Martin, S.J., is a Jesuit priest, author and Editor at Large at America, the national Catholic magazine. His most recent books are “Seven Last Words,” “The Abbey” and “Jesus: A Pilgrimage.” (HarperOne)

James Martin was born in Plymouth Meeting, PA, and was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 1982, where he received his bachelor’s degree in economics (B.S. Econ.) with a concentration in finance. After working for six years in corporate finance with General Electric in New York City and Stamford, CT, he entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1988.

During his Jesuit novitiate in Boston, Martin worked at a hospital for the seriously ill in Cambridge, Mass.; in a hospice for the sick and dying with the Missionaries of Charity in Kingston, Jamaica; and at the Nativity Mission Center, a school for poor boys, in New York City. In 1990, he pronounced his simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. From 1990 to 1992, he studied philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, and worked in an outreach program with street-gang members in the Chicago housing projects, and at a community center where he helped unemployed men and women. For his “regency” assignment, he worked for two years with Jesuit Refugee Service/East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, where he helped East African refugees start small businesses, and co-founded a refugee handicraft shop called The Mikono Centre; and for one year as an associate editor at America in New York City. In 1995, Martin began graduate theology studies at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (now Boston College School of Theology and Ministry), in Cambridge, Mass., where he received his master’s degree in divinity (M.Div.) in 1998, and his master’s in theology (Th.M.) in 1999. While in Cambridge, he worked as a chaplain at a Boston prison. After completing his Jesuit studies, he was ordained a Catholic priest in June 1999 in Chestnut Hill, Ma. On Nov. 1, 2009, he pronounced his final vows as a “fully professed” Jesuit in New York City.

Father Martin is the author of several award-winning books. Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life,” (HarperOne, 2011), was named as one of “Best Books” of 2011 by Publishers Weekly.  Father Martin is also the author of: “Together on Retreat: Meeting Jesus in Prayer,” Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints (Paulist, 2006), Searching for God at Ground Zero (Sheed & Ward: 2002); In Good Company: The Fast Track from the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience (Sheed & Ward: 2000, 2010); and This Our Exile: A Spiritual Journey with the Refugees of East Africa (Orbis: 1999, 2009), winner of a Catholic Press Association award. He is the editor of Celebrating Good Liturgy (Loyola, 2005); Awake My Soul: Contemporary Catholics on Traditional Devotions (Loyola, 2004); and How Can I Find God?: The Famous and the Not-So-Famous Consider the Quintessential Question (Liguori, 1997, 2004) and co-editor, with Jeremy Langford, of Professions of Faith: Living and Working as a Catholic (The Come & See Series) (Sheed & Ward: 2002). His books have been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese, Polish, Chinese, Korean, Hungarian, Lithuanian and Slovenian. His DVD “Who Cares about the Saints?” was released by Loyola Press in 2009, and many of his talks and lectures are available on the web.

Besides articles in Catholic publications like America, Commonweal, U.S. Catholic, Catholic Digest and The (London) Tablet, Father Martin has written for, among other places, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, O Magazine and other newspapers and websites, including Slate.com, The Huffington Post and The New York Times’s and The Washington Post’s websites. He has commented on religion and spirituality in the national and international media, and he has appeared on all the major radio and television networks, and in venues as diverse as National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” NPR’s “Weekend Edition” and “All Things Considered,” PBS’s “Newshour,” Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” as well as ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, The History Channel, the BBC, Voice of America and Vatican Radio. Father Martin maintains an active presence on his public Facebook page and also on Twitter.

For his various ministries, Father Martin has received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree (D.D.) from Wagner College in New York 2007, and honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees (D.Hum.) from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia and from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Ct., in 2010; from Le Moyne College in Syracuse in 2011; and in 2012 from St. Joseph’s University in PhiladelphiaSt. Louis University and Immaculata University in Immaculata, Pa. He has also received Fordham University’s Gaudium et Spes Award, the Ignatian Volunteer Corps’s Madonna della Strada Award, the Loyola Institute of Spirituality’s Writers’ Award, and the Religion Communication Association’s Scholar of the Year Award.

Besides his editorial, publishing and media work, Father Martin has been invited by Catholic dioceses and archdioceses to address gatherings of clergy and laity, has spoken at colleges and universities across the country, has taught at Boston College’s Summer Institute, and leads seminars and directs retreats at retreat houses. On Sundays he assists at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City.

Simone Campbell, S.S.S.

Executive Director of NETWORK

Sister Simone Campbell has served as Executive Director of NETWORK since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of economic justice, immigration reform, and healthcare.  Around the country, she is a noted speaker and educator on these public policy issues.

During the 2010 congressional debate about healthcare reform, she wrote the famous “nuns’ letter” supporting the reform bill and got 59 leaders of Catholic Sisters to sign on. This action was cited by many as critically important in passing the Affordable Care Act. She was thanked by President Obama and invited to the ceremony celebrating its being signed into law.

In 2012, she was also instrumental in organizing the “Nuns on the Bus” tour of nine states to oppose the “Ryan Budget” approved by the House of Representatives. This budget would have decimated programs meant to help people in need. “Nuns on the Bus” received an avalanche of attention across the nation from religious communities, elected officials and the media.

She has led four cross-country “Nuns on the Bus” trips, focused on economic justice, comprehensive immigration reform, and voter turnout.

Simone has often been featured in the national and international media, including appearances on 60 MinutesThe Colbert Report, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

She has received numerous awards, including a “Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award” and the “Defender of Democracy Award” from the international Parliamentarians for Global Action. In addition, she has been the keynote or featured speaker at numerous large gatherings, including the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Prior to coming to NETWORK, Simone served as the Executive Director of JERICHO, the California interfaith public policy organization that works like NETWORK to protect the interests of people living in poverty. Simone also participated in a delegation of religious leaders to Iraq in December 2002, just prior to the war, and was later (while at NETWORK) part of a Catholic Relief Services delegation to Lebanon and Syria to study the Iraqi refugee situation there.

Before JERICHO, Simone served as the general director of her religious community, the Sisters of Social Service. She was the leader of her Sisters in the United States, Mexico, Taiwan and the Philippines.

In 1978, Simone founded and served for 18 years as the lead attorney for the Community Law Center in Oakland, California. She served the family law and probate needs of the working poor people of her county.

She is also the author of A Nun on the Bus: How All of Us Can Create Hope, Change, and Community, published in April 2014 by HarperCollins.

Seeking Environmental Justice: Rising to the Challenge in Flint 

This session will examine the underlying causes contributing to the water crises in Flint, as well as a student-led response at Jesuit universities and a community-led/grassroots response to this environmental justice crisis. We will hear from student and grassroots leaders who are acting in solidarity with affected communities in Flint and putting the community’s voice, concerns and recommendations for necessary action at the center of this debate. Presented with: Rick Carter, Executive Director, Michigan Faith in Action

Daniel Joseph Volpe

Founder, Operation Hydration

Daniel J. Volpe is a chemist for Gooch and Housego plc, and a recent graduate of John Carroll University (JCU) where he received two Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and chemistry. For his contributions to changing the campus culture in a positive way during his career on campus, he was awarded the 2016 Leadership Legacy Award. During his time on campus he was heavily involved in the Youth for Justice Program through JCU’s Center for Service and Social Action (CSSA) and his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon.

After learning about the Flint water crisis, he founded Operation Hydration— a partnership between student organizations of six northern Ohio universities to provide relief and advocacy for people affected by water crises. In response to the Flint crisis, the partnership hosted a water advocacy workshop with John Carroll’s Environmental Issues Group. Following the workshop, students delivered water to the residents of Flint and spent the day meeting members of the community.

In his free time, Dan enjoys running in Cleveland’s metro parks and reading. He also helps advise JCU’s chapter of RallyCap Sports, a nonprofit dedicated to creating positive sports environments fostering social integration, healthy living, and greater self-confidence for children and young adults with special needs.

Seeking Environmental Justice: Rising to the Challenge in Flint 

This session will examine the underlying causes contributing to the water crises in Flint, as well as a student-led response at Jesuit universities and a community-led/grassroots response to this environmental justice crisis. We will hear from student and grassroots leaders who are acting in solidarity with affected communities in Flint and putting the community’s voice, concerns and recommendations for necessary action at the center of this debate. Presented With: Daniel Volpe, Founder, Operation Hydration

Rick Carter

Executive Director, Michigan Faith in Action

Arthur (Rick) Carter is the Executive Director for Michigan Faith in Action (MFA). MFA (formerly FACT) has been in existence since 2007. It intentionally draws congregational leaders from diverse faith and racial backgrounds to be reflective of the expanse of traditions in the state. MFA has an overall mission of improving the quality of life for family in Michigan by addressing the root causes and results of violence, division and poverty in cities throughout the state. MFA is a proud member of the People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO) National Network.

Coordinating an organized, resident-centered response to the Flint Water Crisis has been a major focus in the last year. This effort has focused on hearing and amplifying the stories of more than 20,000 residents and counting. These stories have resulted in hearings with city, state and federal officials where comprehensive, long-term solutions are in progress. In short, we have created a public process for citizens to exercise their voices in compelling ways.

Prior to joining the PICO Network, Rick enjoyed a successful career in two industries. For almost twenty years, he worked for Hurley Medical Center. He held a number of leadership positions while there, including one of the Operational Vice Presidents. In this role, he was responsible for more than $150 million of the $230 million budget with both clinical and non-clinical responsibilities.

Rick also spent about fourteen years at General Motors and worked at both the divisional and corporate levels. His field experience was primarily in the personnel arena in benefits and labor relations. At the corporate level, he was a member of the national arbitration and EEO compliance teams. He also spent a stint at writing speeches for key executives, as well as developing policies and benefits packages for state-side and international service personnel.

Rick has been a member or chair of more than fifteen boards in the Flint region: e.g., the Hamilton Clinic, Boy Scouts, Community Coalition, Knights of Columbus, Community Development Corporation, Metro Housing Partnership and African American Advisory Committee of the Chamber.

Rick has a BS in Psychology and a Master in Industrial Relations from Purdue University. He has also taken executive development programs at Harvard and Cornell Universities in Healthcare. He is originally from Kokomo, Indiana and has three adult children.

Immigration: From Local to Global

Join us as we explore the brokenness of our immigration system and where we can find hope for its transformation.  We’ll explore three select immigration topics – what the injustices look like and how we are invited to respond at the local, national, and regional/global levels. Presented With: Kristen Lionetti, Policy Director, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States

Joanna Williams

Director of Education and Advocacy, Kino Border Initiative

Joanna Williams is a graduate of Georgetown University and is currently the Director of Education and Advocacy at the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) in Nogales, Arizona and Sonora. Prior to her current position, she had journeyed with immigrants in a variety of contexts, including volunteering at a shelter in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, Fulbright research on the reintegration of deported and return migrants, and work as a program assistant for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Border Litigation Project.

Cities, Citizens, and Law Enforcement: Perspectives on Building Community Trust

These past few years have been full of examples of police violence and lives lost before their time: Ferguson, Baltimore, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge. Communities all across the country have been grappling with the breakdown in trust between citizens, law enforcement, and governments. Without continued community engagement, policy reform, and sharing of stories, what hope for change can there be? Pope Francis has declared this the “Year of Mercy.” Join us as we hear perspectives from policy makers, service providers, and student organizers who are working to rebuild broken relationships between community stakeholders based on respect for the common good and human dignity. Presented With: Roy L Austin Jr., Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity in the White House, Domestic Policy Council

Greg Boyle, S.J.

Founder, Homeboy Industries

The Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., is the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, Calif., the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world.

Father Boyle entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1984. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and English from Gonzaga University, a master’s degree in English from Loyola Marymount University, a Master of Divinity degree from the Weston School of Theology, and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

After ordination, Father Boyle spent a year living and working with Christian base communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In 1986, he was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles. At the time, Dolores Mission was the poorest Catholic parish in the city, located between two large public housing projects with the highest concentration of gang activity in Los Angeles. He witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during what he has called “the decade of death” that began in the late 1980s. In the face of law enforcement and criminal justice tactics and policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the means to end gang violence, Father Boyle and parish and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treating gang members as human beings.

By 1988, having buried an ever growing number of young people killed in gang violence, Father Boyle and parish and community members sought to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of gang-involved youth by developing positive opportunities for them, including establishing an alternative school and day care program, and seeking out legitimate employment. They called this initial effort Jobs for a Future. “Gang violence is about a lethal absence of hope,” Father Boyle has said. “Nobody has ever met a hopeful kid who joined a gang.”

In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Jobs for a Future and Proyecto Pastoral, a community-organizing project begun at Dolores Mission, launched their first social enterprise business in an abandoned bakery that Hollywood producer Ray Stark helped them purchase. They called it Homeboy Bakery.

When his term as pastor ended later in 1992, Father Boyle spent his tertianship (the final year of Jesuit formation) serving as a chaplain at the Islas Marias Federal Penal Colony in Mexico and at Folsom State Prison in California.

In the ensuing years after his return to Jobs for a Future in 1993, the success of Homeboy Bakery created the groundwork for additional social enterprise businesses, leading Jobs for a Future in 2001 to become an independent nonprofit organization, Homeboy Industries.

Today, Homeboy Industries employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to 15,000 men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.

Father Boyle is the author of the New York Times-bestseller, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, which was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly and received the PEN Center USA 2011 Creative Nonfiction Award.

Father Boyle is the subject of Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock’s 2012 documentary, G-Dog.  He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame.  In 2014, the White House named Father Boyle a Champion of Change.  He received the 2016 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the James Beard Foundation, the national culinary-arts organization.

Cities, Citizens, and Law Enforcement: Perspectives on Building Community Trust

These past few years have been full of examples of police violence and lives lost before their time: Ferguson, Baltimore, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge. Communities all across the country have been grappling with the breakdown in trust between citizens, law enforcement, and governments. Without continued community engagement, policy reform, and sharing of stories, what hope for change can there be? Pope Francis has declared this the “Year of Mercy.” Join us as we hear perspectives from policy makers, service providers, and student organizers who are working to rebuild broken relationships between community stakeholders based on respect for the common good and human dignity. Presented With: Roy L Austin Jr., Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity in the White House, Domestic Policy Council

Roy L. Austin, Jr.

Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity in the White House, Domestic Policy Council

In March 2014, Roy L. Austin, Jr. was appointed as Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity in the White House, Domestic Policy Council. Austin coordinates the formulation and implementation of policy covering criminal justice, civil rights, housing, labor, human services and initiatives such as My Brother’s Keeper and Promise Zones.

Austin began his career as an Honors Trial Attorney with the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice investigating and prosecuting hate crime and police misconduct cases around the country. After approximately five years, he joined Keker & Van Nest LLP in San Francisco. In 2002, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia where he prosecuted domestic violence, adult and child sexual assault, human trafficking, homicide and fraud and public corruption cases. He left in 2007 to become a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery. In 2009, Austin returned to the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office as a Senior Assistant United States Attorney and Coordinator of the D.C. Human Trafficking Task Force.

In January 2010, Austin was appointed as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

Austin received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from The University of Chicago and he grew up in State College, PA.

Conversations: LGBT Issues on Campus

This session will provide a forum for dialogue surrounding LGBT issues on high school and college campuses, through an Ignatian lense and in the light of work within the institutional Church. Time will be spent giving voice to interests and concerns of attendees, to share resources and learn from the experiences of others addressing similar issues on their campuses. Bring your experiences, your questions, and your commitment to improve campus culture to benefit the LGBT student community

Jack Raslowsky

President, Xavier High School


Bio coming soon

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