BC Represented At Jesuit Teach-In
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
This weekend, Boston College will be sending 18 undergraduates to Washington, D.C. for the 15th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. The event will feature speakers discussing issues of social justice. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend.
“The theme this year is called ‘Imagination Reform: Moving Beyond the Margins,’” said Rev. Don MacMillan, S.J. “We’ve been doing it for years, but this year, we thought ‘Maybe we’ll push people to think even bigger . How would you imagine the world to be better?’”
The event is held in memory of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador, six Jesuit priests and two companions who were murdered on November 16, 1989, for their work advocating for the poor in El Salvador.
“Part of the reason to have it in November is because of those who were assassinated,” said Matt Dolan, A&S ’13, who has been to the Teach-Ins for the past three years. “This is a special time to keep their memories alive. These were people who were peace-loving, justice-loving people, assassinated by soldiers who were trained in the U.S.”
Jillian Baker, A&S ’13, has also attended the past three Teach-Ins. “I’ve wanted to get involved with it because of teachers I’ve had in the past who’ve sparked my interest in social justice,” Baker said. “I’ve formed great relationships with the people who’ve gone in the past as well. Having that community, it’s a given that we’re going to go year after year. It’s great to welcome in new people as well.”
Nick Denari, A&S ’16, attended past Teach-Ins with his high school. “The reason I continue to go is that when you gather such a large group of people, the things you want to accomplish seem a lot more possible,” he said. “You see the extent of what other people have done in the past, and you know it’s possible to make the same kind of contribution.”
Issues that will be covered are domestic poverty, immigration reform, and environmental justice, as well as the first annual Advocacy Month, which will be held this February. Last year, the Teach-In advocated for the DREAM Act and against the School of the Americas. The Teach-In will also focus largely on Central America.
“They’re our neighbors,” MacMillan said. “They’re connected to us. We don’t want to lose sight on the global picture. There are problems in Africa, in Indonesia, and Afghanistan, and all the Asian counties, but our focus right now is on our immediate neighbors, who tend to be the victims and have been for years.”
He stressed the importance of advocacy, saying, “With all the rights we have, there’s a responsibility that goes along with them.”
Twenty-eight Jesuit universities, over 25 Jesuit high schools, and Jesuit parishes, Jesuit volunteer communities, and other Catholic institutions and organizations will be represented at the Teach-In.
Students who wish to get involved can contact MacMillan or other students involved in the Teach-In. MacMillan also encouraged students to get involved in works on campus and in the community.
“Justice is not just feeding the homeless and the hungry,” he said. “It certainly is that, but we also have the Campus School and the Green Club, and they’re all important. We’re alerting people to the little things they can do in their lives to make other people’s lives better.”