Ignatian Solidarity Network Archive

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Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice Planning Off to a Great Start!

Anna Ferguson

This year’s Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) is right around the corner and the IFTJ core team is hard at work planning for Creighton’s annual trip there in November.

IFTJ is a weekend promoting social justice and advocacy sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network. If you are passionate about making a difference and want to learn more about current social justice issues and what you can do in response to them, this weekend is for you!

The Teach-In is a great chance to travel to Washington D.C., meet new friends, and learn how to advocate for people experiencing injustice.

Have I interested you yet?

If so, our first info meetings will be on September 25th from 9-10pm, and September 27th from 12-1pm. Applications will be available starting September 25th. For more information, contact Anna Ferguson at: anneferguson@creighton.edu .

IFTJ Core Team Update:

–We’ve got some great info meetings coming your way, so get excited!
–Planning for the IFTJ retreat is underway. Be on the look out for more information coming soon.
–Have you seen our schnazzy fliers around campus? Bright yellow, keep your eyes open!

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IFTJ: Use Your Voice for Change!

56 Creighton students attended the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington D.C. the weekend of November 12th, and 13th. The Creighton delegation joined other Jesuit schools to discuss and find ways to work together for social change.  There were keynote speakers, break out sessions, and a beautiful mass. As a way to make the ideals of the conference a reality the Creighton delegation and many other delegations met with state representatives about different social issues.  The weekend was a great time of learning, reflection and action.  A way to bring the weekend back is through the different advocacy opportunities offered in the Creighton Center for Service and Justice.  Take action with us and use your voice for change!

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Experiencing Love, Happiness, Solidarity, & Advocacy

By Ben Stevinson
The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice can best be described as a two day experience of love, happiness, solidarity, and advocacy. It is a time for prayer, reflection, and awareness. It is very easy to feel the solidarity with the incredible people who travel to this conference.

I attended the Teach-In last year as a senior at Regis Jesuit High School. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of the number of people who hold many of the same core values and beliefs that I do. I was surprised that there were so many people who believed in being men and women with and for others, working in solidarity with the underprivileged to foster a better world. I sat in the front row with my small delegation of around twelve. We were surrounded by a blue sea of Creighton students yelling and shouting ¡Presente! at the top of their lungs. I was shocked by how many people at Creighton had driven over 1,300 miles to get to D.C. I had been interested in Creighton before, but after the Teach-In I knew that all I wanted to do is attend Creighton.

As a Freshman at Creighton University, I greatly value this time at the Teach-In. It is a time for strong prayer and reflection. It is a time for waking up and facing the “gritty reality” of our world. It is a time for waking up to this reality, and realizing that it makes one uncomfortable. At the Teach-In, many injustices and harsh realities are exposed and explained. Attendees learn about some of the most dire issues in the world, and many learn about some issues they had never heard of. The Teach-In began as a direct protest to the School of the Americas, at Ft. Benning, in Georgia, but moved to Washington D.C. last year. While I never attended the Teach-In in Georgia, I feel as though the scope of the Teach-In has varied slightly to encompass many more issues, and, most importantly, allow for lobbying in Congress for the change of many controversial issues, including the SOA. Many people aren’t aware of the SOA’s existence. Many other injustices and topics are discussed at the Teach-In, both locally, and internationally. This year, along with the injustices in Latin American countries, there has been a great focus on the problems in Africa.

While we discuss and learn about many injustices, I believe that the best part of the Teach-In is learning about proactive and positive change. There are many people in our Ignatian Family who have found an issue and taken a strong stance against it. I find it absolutely incredible to listen to and hear people – some high school students, some college students, and some several years out of college – talking about a local issue that they’ve taken a stance on.

We listened to two high school students explain their struggle combatting Malaria in Ghana. They have been distributing mosquito nets, preemptively fixing the problem. It is refreshing and inspiring to me to listen to the concrete and wonderful changes that have happened in the world because of the Ignatian Family. It makes me think of ways I can change my own world, and work locally to combat problems around me. I am blessed to be a part of this family, and I am very humbled to attend the Teach-In a second time.

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Looking Forward While Reflecting On Previous Experiences

By: Hannah O’Keefe

Every experience that I have had thus far with Creighton’s CCSJ reinforces one basic idea: when it comes to service and justice, Creighton gets it.

This year will mark my third trip to the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Family Teach-In, and I could not be more excited, not only to be going, but to be going with a community as strong as Creighton’s.

I first attended the Teach-In when I was a junior in high school when it was still located in Fort Benning, GA, featuring a protest at the School of the Americas. I went with about eight other girls from Duchesne Academy, and we shared a bus with some boys from Creighton Prep high school, students from the College of St. Mary and parishioners from Sacred Heart Church. It was a great experience and got me hooked on the feeling of solidarity and community I felt within the greater Ignatian Family.

Last year, I attended IFTJ with St. Louis University, which is where I spent my freshman year of college. SLU sent a delegation of eight students to Washington D.C. We were excited and motivated, but lacked guidance and unity. Although I had a great time with my fellow SLU students, I couldn’t help but notice Creighton’s impressive presence at the event. They were there in full force, all 50+ of them filling in the front rows of the conference center. As a whole, the delegates from Creighton had a certain confidence and seemed truly inspired and ready to let the experience change them- ready to tackle the injustices surrounding them.

After making the decision to transfer to Creighton as a sophomore, I knew right away that I would want to participate in IFTJ. It is something that I have grown to love and look forward to, and I was really excited to be able to experience it as a part of the Creighton community.

A perfect example of how Creighton gets service is the retreat that the CCSJ put on for its IFTJ delegates. They understand that we will be able to get so much more out of the weekend if we take the time, prior to departure, to come together and prepare. At IFTJ, you are bombarded with information and faced with a constant call to action, so it is really helpful and important to ready yourself- both emotionally and physically- for what is to come. Additionally, each delegate has been divided up into small reflection groups, and at the retreat, we were able to meet with our groups for the first time to talk about our feelings and emotions going into the weekend. I can already tell that these small groups will be a great resource for us; they will serve as a support group to help us digest all the information that we are given.

Any time that you are working for justice, at the same time, you are working against injustice, which can be really challenging. It isn’t easy to face ugly issues like discrimination, prejudice, and inequality, but that is what the IFTJ is all about. It is about learning to face these issues head on; to charge at them, full speed ahead. The CCSJ understands the gravity of this challenge and is fully committed to encouraging you, providing you with the resources you need, and helping you at each step along the way.

At the Teach-In, Creighton as an institution serves as an exemplary model of a school whole-heartedly focused on living out the Jesuit mission, full of eager students committed to learn, connect, grow, and advocate for change.

It’s going to be great.

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Ignatian Solidarity Network June Newsletter

Ignatian Family Teach-In Theme 2011

Come join over 1200 Ignatian leaders as we gather for this year’s Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, Nov 12-14, 2011. This year’s theme is: “The Gritty Reality: Feel It, Think It, Engage It, ” taken from Rev. Peter Hans Kolvenbach’s quote.

“Students, in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively.”

Join us as we remember the UCA Martyrs, listen to inspiring speakers, attend breakout sessions and strengthen our advocacy skills. Will your voice be included? Will you be a part of this movement toward social change?

Read the Newsletter.

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