My Experience at the 2015 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice by Cameron Bennett

This past November, I had the privilege to travel to Washington, DC with a group of my classmates to attend the 2015 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. It was an incredible opportunity, and I continue to contemplate what we discussed during this conference. As a student in a fairly small school, in a province with only one Jesuit school, in a country with only three Jesuit high schools, the opportunity to see students from other Jesuit schools was amazing.

One of the most powerful experiences during the conference was when the delegation of Canadian schools was able to meet with a Jesuit school from Tijuana, Mexico. It was incredible to learn about the social justice issues that are facing the students that live there, as well as to see how our similar Jesuit education and how it forms us to think in surprisingly similar ways. It was very clear to all present that the Jesuit education system excels at producing men and women who truly care for and devote their lives to others.

The theme of this years Teach-In was ‘Bridges’, and I think this was a theme that really resonated with the almost 1,700 students present. The social justice issues discussed throughout the teach-in were a constant reminder of how we must strive to build bridges of solidarity between fortunate and less fortunate, whether they be impoverished, of a different colour, religion, or ethnicity.

I believe that the power of this Teach-In was best represented when we all took part in an Advocacy Day on the lawn of the Capitol Building. It was quite a moving experience to see all the students, teachers, and faculty of the Teach-In working together to try and solve the social justice issues which affect the world. Seeing pictures of almost 2,000 people standing in front of the Capitol Building put it into perspective how influential the views of the general public are in trying to make the world a better place.