Forty-nine Creighton University students and seven faculty and staff, departed on Nov. 11 for the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ), a weekend full of faith and social justice in Washington, D.C. They joined more than 1,800 Jesuit university and high school students. The Creighton University group was one of largest attendees at this year’s event.
The 2016 Teach-In theme, “Mercy in Action,” marked the closing days of Pope Francis’s Year of Mercy, inviting participants, in the words of Pope Francis, to “grow in a love which is courageous, generous and real.” The program sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, was from Nov. 12-14.
This year, two students, Maria Fagerland and Alyson Schreck, along with journalism professor, Carol Zuegner, PhD, presented the 2016 summer Backpack Journalism mini-documentary, “El Deportado,” as a breakout session on Nov. 12, available for any attendees at the conference. The film documents daily life on the U.S.-Mexico border.
On Monday, Nov. 14, students headed to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators to discuss criminal justice reform. Some also urged for immigration reform, an issue highlighted in “El Deportado.”
"I saw IFTJ as an awesome opportunity to talk with those in power about what I witnessed, in hopes that through respectful dialogue we could start to make some progress in immigration reform," said Schreck. "I think all nations have the responsibility and right to protect its borders, but not at the expense of human dignity."
Initiated in 1997 in Columbus, Georgia, the Teach-In commences yearly in mid-November to commemorate the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador. The six Jesuit priests and their two companions were murdered on Nov. 16, 1989 for speaking out against the country’s tumultuous civil war. The Teach-In relocated from Georgia to Washington, D.C., in 2010 in response to the growing interest in legislative advocacy and accompanying educational opportunities. Creighton has attended IFTJ since 1997.