Ignatian Teach-in For Social Justice

Ignatian Teach-in For Social Justice

MaryRose Johnson

Bellarmine Prep had its annual Washington DC trip for the Ignatian Teach-In for Social Justice this past November. Teachers Mary Rink, Allison Scanlin, and Mike Peterson took a group of six students on this amazing advocacy immersion trip and in the words of Ms. Rink, “It was amazing!”

The Ignatian Teach-In’s goal is to network, educate, and form advocates for social justice animated by the spirituality of St. Ignatius. Every year it has a plethora of different social justice topics with a special focus on two. This year’s focus was on Migration and Environmental Policy. The convention provides ample background information on these two topics such as bills in place about each issue which gives students great preparation for their advocacy. Students have the chance to listen to panelists, attend breakout sessions, and engage speakers on social justice topics as well as meet with other students from Jesuit schools. Rink commented that the Teach-In “reinforced that we are part of a much bigger network of Jesuit education so it is always nice to make connections with all the other Jesuit students there.”

The first night, after Bellarmine’s travel day, the teachers took the students on a walking monument tour at night around DC. The following morning the Bellarmine Teach-In crew attended the African American History Museum which has new displays on the Black Lives Matter Movement. That night there was a candlelight vigil in Lafayette Square to end Title 42 which limits asylum seekers from entering the United States.

During the Teach-In, the group got to listen to amazing keynote speakers such as Father Boyle, author of “Tattoos on the Heart,” Father Bryan Massingale, one of the leaders on racial justice in the Catholic Church, and many more.

If you are passionate about social justice, love traveling to new places and advocating for what is right attend next year’s Ignatian Teach-In for Social Justice. Rink said, “The Teach-In is powerful as it shows people who are united to take action against injustices in our society which is so inspiring to see. This trip is incomparable to other programs.”