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NCDS News

Students Build Community at Teach-In for Justice
On October 22-24, six NCDS students joined more than 2,000 others in Washington, D.C. for the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s 25th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. This year, the advocacy priorities included climate change and immigration reform.

The 2022 theme, Rooted and Renewing, invited attendees to root themselves in the history of the Teach-In and the legacy of the Jesuit martyrs and their companions and to renew a commitment to addressing today’s injustices with creativity, courage, and resilience—traits embodied by the first Teach-In in Georgia 25 years ago.

“I was interested in attending the Ignatian Family Teach-In to learn more about social justice issues and how my faith can impel myself and others to help combat these injustices,” explained C. Riffe ’24. “It was inspiring to see how many people came together in unison. No matter how small the notion may seem, you can always begin the change and inform others of the prevalent issues and how they can help.”

In addition to hearing keynote speakers discuss racial and cultural equity and inclusion, sustainability, climate justice, and immigration reform, NCDS girls had the opportunity to meet other students from across the country and from around the Sacred Heart Network.

“The most memorable moment for me was meeting other Sacred Heart girls,” said N. Donovan ’24. “Two were from Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York and one was from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heat in Maryland. We met some of their faculty and sat down for lunch, eventually spending the afternoon together because we all got along so well. After learning so many different stories from the incredible speakers, we could discuss our shared memories from the weekend and really engage with one another. It was so great to meet others with shared traditions and experiences.”

“I was excited to be around a lot of people, specifically young people, who value many of the same things that I do,” added F. Coleman ’24. “Hearing touching and inspiring speeches from people the same age as me was just really motivating. My biggest takeaway was learning all the ways people are actively working towards social justice. It also taught me more about the social justice crisis and the personal stories connected to them.”

“My biggest take away from the weekend was feeling a real sense of community,” Donovan continued. “Sometimes I feel like that word gets thrown around a lot, but during the Ignatian Family Teach-In I actually felt all of the positive connotations spoken about around ‘community.’ The general kindness and sense of belonging from everyone was enlightening. Everyone was so grateful to be there together. Not only did we find community in other Sacred Heart girls, but in breakout groups within conferences where we could meet new people, ask questions, and fully participate. Connecting with so many different people, from schools and colleges all over the world really made the word ‘community’ come to life.”