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Creighton Students Head to Georgia for Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

Creighton Students Head to Georgia for Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

A group of 59 Creighton University students, faculty and staff are attending the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) this weekend in Columbus, Ga.

Three Creighton students, Jackie Arnason, junior; Rachel Bloom, senior; and Nate Tye, junior, are speaking on the mainstage about their experience in and understanding of El Salvador, attained through the summer immersion course taught by Tom Kelly, associate professor of Theology, and John Guiliano in Guarjila, El Salvador.

Creighton senior Lauren Fukuda is giving a break-out session titled "Now what? Transforming Experience into Advocacy" as a part of the Teach-In programming. Fukuda worked as an advocate for Network: A Catholic Social Justice Lobby in Washington, D.C., last summer as a part of the summer internship program run by the CCSJ and sponsored in part by a Cardoner grant.

The Ignatian Solidarity Network organizes this annual gathering of Jesuit affiliated organizations and individuals. The Fall IFTJ is held in conjunction with the annual School of the Americas Watch rally and vigil at the gates of the School of the Americas (a.k.a., WHINSEC) at Fort Benning, Ga.

Creighton students first attended the IFTJ in 1998, and the University began sending an official delegation in 2008. This year, Creighton won the "Drive for Justice," a fundraising campaign for the ISN held prior to the conference.

The Teach-In is attended by thousands of students, faculty, and religious men and women from Jesuit institutions and friends of the Ignatian Family. It is an occasion to gather for prayer, learning, play and advocacy. For Creighton, especially the Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), it is a chance to gather the efforts in justice, peace and advocacy that students, staff and faculty collaborate on all year.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the assassination of the six Jesuits and their companions at the University of Central America in San Salvador, the annual remembrance that occasions the SOA rally and vigil. The assassination was a galvanizing moment in the history of the Jesuits, one which redefined the mission of the Ignatian Family in the world and made clear that living the Gospel exacts a price.

Members of the Creighton community gathered in front of St. John's Church Thursday night to bless and send the pilgrims on their journey. The group then traveled more than 20 hours by bus to bring the spirit of justice and peace the University hopes to foster in its students into communion with the larger Ignatian Family.

Follow the experiences of the Creighton delegation throughout the IFTJ on FacebookTwitter and Flickr.