A few years ago, as an interested observer, I attended for the first time the annual ISN Jesuit Family Teach-In held in Washington, DC (Jesuit universities, colleges, high schools, parishes, etc.) dedicated to social justice education and advocacy, which is the heart of ISN's mission. There were 1200 attendees (mostly students) listening attentatively and respectfully to peers and well known speakers for a full day before lobbying on Capitol Hill, but the most telling feature to me was the lack of any cellphone use or texting -- total involvement and attention to the speakers and to what was being said! I thought, "If this is our future, I want to be part of it!"
ISN's programs, website, and network opportunities offer high school and college students, young professionals, and adult parishioners training and opportunities to live out a faith that does justice. Each year, more than 1,000 members of the Ignatian Family gathering for a teach-in to learn about pressing justice issues, discuss ways that we can respond as individuals, and prepare to meet with elected officials to call for policy change. ISN trains high school and college students to be leaders on issues of justice like labor rights, fair trade movements, domestic poverty issues, immigraiton reform, and militarization of foreign policy througout the world. ISN educates communities through online blogs and webinars. Their programs offer direction to the justice work of thousands of Jesuit-affiliated individuals across the U.S. and around the world.