After returning to the United States in August 2012 following a year of international post-graduate service, I was hoping to find ways to reconnect with faith and social justice communities back home. The Ignatian Solidarity Network helped me do that. Although I was pretty familiar with ISN during my undergraduate career at a Jesuit University, I became more familiar with this nonprofit in the past year. In November 2012, I attended the Ignatian Family Teach-In in Washington, DC. I have always loved attending the Teach-In because I feel that I leave with a renewed passion for the Jesuit mission and the different communities that support it through their own works and missions.
In February 2013, I was grateful to learn more about ISN by attending the Arrupe Leaders Summit (for high school students on the east coase) as a team member for the weekend. I was able to meet and connect with several high school groups and learn about the inspiring social justice work that these students engage in. As a team member, I was also able to share a bit of my own story and involvement of social justice while helping the students begin their own discussion of how they are going to continue the Jesuit mission in their own lives.
I am grateful for and applaud ISN for their wonderful work and mission.
I have brought students to the Arrupe Leaders Summit two years in a row, and our high school also brings students to the Ignatian Family Teach-In each year. Our students always come back from each experience inspired to bring about more justice in our world. We especially see this after the Arrupe Leaders Summit, which is specifically meant to help build social justice leadership skills in high school students. Sometimes we just don't have all the time and resources to provide all the experiences we want for our own students, but the Arrupe Leaders Summit is something I feel confident taking our students to that I know will help build a passion for justice in our students in ways that we just can't do on our own on campus.
Ignatian Solidarity Network's staff is truly as hardworking as they come. Throughout the past year it has been really great to see how the staff, board members, and members of the Ignatian family have mobilized and worked together in order to not only bring attention to various social justice issues but reveal what each one of our roles are in bringing about positive change. I am proud to be a member of the Ignatian family and feel very connected on a daily basis to this network.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network serves to bring together many students, teachers, parishoners and volunteers associated with Jesuit high schools, universities and other organizations. There are regular conferences several times a year to develop leadership and knowledge about major social and human rights issues. The ISN also uses social media to connect, inform and organize. My own family has been inspired and nurtured in our lives of faith and justice by attending ISN events - particularly the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice each November. We love ISN and the prioritize attending its events and supporting its work financially.
I have worked with the ISN on a few summit teams to create an experience for high school students from around the country to come together and share their experiences of social justice. I am amazed by the time given to the cause and effort of the organization to teach about social justice and to create a greater community of Jesuit institutions around the country. The high school students present at the first summit last spring gained a valuable experience and met other students who are just as passionate about their faith and justice. ISN is a well-run organization that continues to grow in its endeavor of spreading the Ignatian vision.
I work as a Campus Minister at Le Moyne College which is how I became familiar with the Ignatian Solidarity Network. I have been bringing students to the ISN sponsored teach-in for eight years. What has happened is that not only are the students moved, touched, challenged by the presentations but so was I. One of my greatest joys is to walk along with college age students as they discover the world and what their impact can be on that world. ISN offers wonderful opportunities for this to happen.
In 2002, I attended my first Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Columbus, GA. Over the course of the next decade, I was privileged to have a chance to serve on the steering committee for five years and as one of the emcees for four years (including as Head Emcee the last two years). ISN makes it possible for the Ignatian family to gather together, to learn together, to be inspired together, and to worship together, and to be reminded of what makes us this eclectic, crazy, bonded family. The goal each year is to develop leaders (through the leadership summits), to provide the tools for action (both with Lobby Days and the upcoming legislative action month), and to educate and inspire (with the annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice). ISN has made tremendous strides over the course of the last decade and I know that I'm not the only person who has changed career directions because of my experience with ISN (I am now halfway through the coursework for a PhD in Social Ethics).
The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) has, year after year, provided transformative programming for my students at Rockhurst University. Through the November Ignatian Teach-In for Justice and the January University Leadership Summitt, the ISN has given my students the opportunity to engage social justice issues through prayer, dialogue, and action that has yielded tangible results in terms of increased awareness/programming here at Rockhurst as well as direction for their future careers and fields of study. Truly, ISN is an amazing organization!