Ignatian Solidarity Network
Rating: 4.88 stars 25 reviews
Issues: Civil Rights, Education
Location: 1 John Carroll Blvd. University Heights OH 44118 USA
Results: The stories of individuals inspired by their participation in Ignatian Solidarity Network programs are endless. Most notable recently is the 2011 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice which brought together nearly 1,200 individuals from Jesuit and partner institutions across the United States for learning, reflection, networking, prayer, and advocacy. 800+ participants took part in a legislative advocacy day on Capitol Hill, completing 130 meetings in 60 different legislators office and the White House.
Target demographics: We mobilize individuals and institutions connected with the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in the United States. This includes high school students and faculty; university students, staff, and faculty; parish members; graduates of Jesuit institutions; and others who feel a connection to the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and its emphasis on the relationship between faith and justice.
Direct beneficiaries per year: In person programs directly impact 1,500+ people per year. Our online programs and resources impact thousands in the U.S. and beyond the reach of this medium grows daily.
Geographic areas served: We work mainly with U.S. based institutions, though we welcome individuals and institutions from throughout the world to be part of our in-person programs and online dialogue.
Programs: ISN offers annual programs focused on leadership formation and social justice education grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. These programs include the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, Arrupe High School Leaders Summit, University Leadership Summit, Ignatian Immersion Experience Coordinator Summit, and Ignatian Family Advocacy Month. In addition, we provided on-line programs including webinars, networking groups, and resources.
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I have been priviledged to be involved with the ISN from its beginning. It grew out of the annual protests/vigils at the Gates of the SOA at Ft. Benning, GA. Jesuit school students were going down each year and Bob Holstein of California, a devoted protestor and Jesuit educated man, thought the ISN would be a great way to involve more people. The various speakers have energized me over the years. Sr. Helen Prejean, Fr. Orobator, SJ of Africa, Martin Sheen, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, to name a few, spoke to our hearts and helped me and all who were there to be more and more committed to working for justice. Students who participate in local and international service and immersion programs feel greatly supported by the topics presented each year at the teach-in. Textbooks and classroom discussions on topics of justice are important but witnessing injustice is an incredible teaching moment. With other justice issues before us, such as the Dream Act, workers' rights, immigration reform, ecology, my mind and knowledge has been expanded and has been helpful in the clarification and explanation of social justice to the following generations. Meeting with their peers from other schools, the students are uniting in strong solidarity with each other and the poor. But, to be honest, the costs of getting to the teach-in and administering the teach-in are climbing higher and higher. Most students who are interested in social justice and change do not have unlimited resources. Somehow this non-profit has to figure out ways of hosting regional teach-ins. It's more work, I know, but I believe more people would be reached as a result. The annual teach-in could still function. Presence in Washington, DC and lobbying Congress is important. Programming and logistics would have to be detailed very carefully so that the regional teach-ins would have clout and be as effective as the general one is already. Teaching participants to live simply would include being careful about spending money even for excellent causes such as the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. That being said, the ISN is just what we need to keep our eyes on the common good. In addition to the teach-in, the ISN runs regional workshops on various topics. The groups are smaller and more in depth conversations take place. Even though I most addressed the teach-in I don't want you to lose sight of the fact that the ISN does other programming on justice issues.
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