St. Ignatius
SI Students Go to D.C. for Social Justice Teach-In

A delegation of 10 SI students with two members of our faculty and staff attended the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 6–8. There, they networked, prayed and attended breakout sessions alongside approximately 1,500 students and adults from across the Ignatian and Catholic social justice network.

Among the highlights of the event, students identified listening to Fr. Bryan Massingale speaking about racial justice, several students from Jesuit High School in Sacramento speaking about making their campus a more equitable community and SI's own Mr. Darius White speaking on the main stage about journeying with one another in our common humanity.

When asked what they learned from the trip, several students said they came to a better understanding of how SI's culture makes room for them and their peers to stand for justice.

Ann Anish ’23 said, "It gave me a sense of gratitude that there are students at our school who are willing to bring up issues important to them, no matter when it is. It doesn't have to be an Instagram trend or something that's happening politically right now."

Among the many speakers at the event, the students from Jesuit High may have been the most inspiring to our students. Mia Aaronson ’22 described listening to the Jesuit High students and applying their experiences to how she plans to advocate for change in her home communities.

"Hearing them and their success bringing attention to problems that they thought were important is incredible," she said. "I think student voices are amplified and powerful at SI, and the Jesuit High students helped me realize that it's possible to make change from a student perspective if we bring enough attention to it and if we really focus on changing culture and not changing people."

Cat Young ’22 said she was glad to feel the energy of being around so many other passionate people and that she's still buoyed by that spirit many days later.

"Being surrounded by people who share a lot of the same values and passion makes me want to spread it," she said. "I want to open the door for anyone else who may be curious about social justice initiatives because, ultimately, it's about unity and everyone working together to write this change."

The students weren't the only ones to come away from the trip energized and hopeful. Tamara Setiady, SI's Community Service Coordinator, talked about the joy she had seeing students blossom.

"Opportunities like IFTJ invite our students to deepen in living out a faith that does justice and share what they have learned with our own SI community upon their return. It introduces students to the skills of advocacy, prayer, and reflection, which are part of SI’s mission to form students who respond courageously to the challenges of our time," she said. "I watched our students interacting with college students and other adults, having conversations about big issues and their social justice work. As our delegation’s adult leader and as an Ignatian educator, I am delighted to see that the work we do at SI — not just in my office, but as a whole school — is helping form students who can not only hold their own but contribute meaningfully alongside very accomplished peers and adults from across our Province and throughout the Ignatian network."

Upcoming Community Service events include the Bay Area Teach-In for Justice, which will be held at SI in February, and SI's Solidarity Week in April. Both events are being led by the Arrupe Social Justice Council. All are welcome to come to the council's meetings on Blue Week Fridays during X period in Room 115.

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We have published the latest issue of SI's DEIB Newsletter from the Magis Center for Equity and Inclusion, where you can read about our ongoing work to make SI more equitable and inclusive. Our hope is that these updates will help you better understand SI's commitment to a loving, safe and inclusive community, our areas of growth, and some of the ways we are working together to build that community that we all desire.

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